Handle Incoming Media Calls — Even When You’re Sweating Hard

How to Finesse Incoming Media Calls -- Even When You're Sweating HardEven in today’s social media world, one of the key ways organizations get their messages out to key audiences is through the traditional news media.  And even with the downsizing of news organizations and mainstream journalism’s shift to the Web, traditional media relations remains vital.

Of course media relations is only one element in your org’s communications agenda, but it can be one of your most valuable, cost effective, and efficient strategies — if done right.

But one of the trickiest aspects of media relations is handling the press. Follow these three guidelines and you’ll come out strong!

  1. Be prepared — Know your messages and topic cold, and feel comfortable talking about them. Prep your organization’s team on how to answer media calls, how to traffic them, key issues.
  2. Complete your assignment — If the call is scheduled, know the reporter’s take on the issue and what others have to say as well. Then practice responding to the three questions that would make you most nervous.
  3. Stay the course and document the conversation — It’s a reporter’s job to get at the essence at the story. Nothing personal. Your preparation will ensure you’re ready to deal with these questions most effectively. To make sure you’ve done so, document the conversation as much as possible as you’re having it.

Read this article to learn more about what’s involved in each step and how to implement them to finesse incoming media calls. Manage the media; don’t let them manage you.

Photo: Flickr PFV

Nancy Schwartz on March 5, 2009 in Branding and Messages, Media Relations and Press, Nonprofit Communications | 0 comments
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