How to…deal with negative press interest

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					How to deal with negative
press interest

When the media call

The Diocesan Communication Officer (DCO) is on call 24 hours a day for urgent and emergency enquiries.
If the emergency is of interest to the media, then you may find yourself inundated with calls from journalists.
So as soon as you can, hopefully before the calls start coming, our advice would be to call Lucy Taylor,
Communications Officer for the diocese, on 01452 835515 or 07811 174125.

You should refer any emergency / negative media enquiries to the DCO because she:
   · Has experience and skills in handling media enquiries, particularly when issues involve sensitive
   · May be more aware of potential pitfalls
   · Provides a single point of contact for journalists
   · Can co-ordinate a consistent approach to several enquiries
   · Can take a wider view in the parishes/diocese s best interest
   · Is employed to handle queries that can take up a considerable amount of time.

If you   are contacted by a journalist, try to find out:
     ·    Who they are, what publication or media outlet they work for and their contact number
     ·    What information they want and who else they are speaking to
     ·    What the deadline is, so you know how long there is to respond

Never give an immediate response. Always be polite and tell them you will call back in ten minutes, then call
the DCO.

The DCO will advice you on how to handle this. She may:
   · Answer the query directly if they know the subject or have already been briefed
   · Find out more before giving a response and may draft a statement together with you
   · Identify a bishop, archdeacon, clergy person or diocesan officer to speak directly to the media.

If the DCO contacts you to ask for information, you will need to respond quickly. The DCO could ask
awkward questions. It is important to be honest with the DCO about issues of a sensitive nature, as it is
their job to take account of the full facts and use their judgement on how to handle the matter. The DCO
will always observe the confidentiality of any sensitive information.

The Church of England offers communication training courses for all aspects of church communication. To
find out more, visit

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