21 Do’s and Don’ts in Media Relations

If you don’t want it printed or broadcasted, DON’T SAY IT!

Say it in 20 seconds or less. ( Preferably less.)

Don’t make flip statements. / Never say “No Comment.”

Don’t ever try to take an interview “off the record”.

Never give reporters your personal opinion—especially about other subjects.

Always avoid outward hostility to the news media!

Always convey the impression that you are trying to help.

Be original! Be in charge! Be creative! Be visual!

Always avoid the appearance of hiding facts (a cover-up).

Record all sensitive interviews. Assume all calls are being taped by the news people.

Be wary of still photographers and videographers – they are always shooting.

Don’t assume the interview is over until the TV camera crew drives away!

Be alert for the “waiting” technique – Don’t fill “dead-air.”

Be aware of deadlines.

Try to be prepared for a media blitz – especially in highly sensitive cases.

Try not to be confrontational but if you are, always be 100% accurate!

Don’t pick unnecessary fights with the news media.

Don’t volunteer or submit to an interview with the tabloid press, including tabloid publications, radio or TV.

Watch out for “pay for play.”  It can cost you lots.

Don’t have a crisis on a slow news day!

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