"Practical Strategies in Communications and Media Relations"
Practical Strategies in Communications and Media Relations Earl Evans Monday, October 27, 2008 Key Point to Remember The absolute best way to achieve successful media relations during an emergency is to build a solid, ongoing media relations program before the emergency occurs. Establish a Relationship with a Reporter Mutually beneficial, mutual respect Professional, keep in touch Working with the media, not dealing with the media Understand the Media Why do you need them? Why do they need you? Importance of deadlines Print media vs electronic media Corporate philosophy, editor’s philosophy What is News? Timely, unique, current, human interest Consequence: impact, importance, significance Interest: unusual, strange, bizarre “Whatever the reporter/editor says it is” The Media Release Basic element of media relations program Inverted pyramid – most important first First paragraph tells the whole story Brief, succinct, use quotations Use for photo opp, event announcements, media tip sheet The Media Interview Another basic element of your media relations program Opportunity to present your side of story Treat a media interview as a high profile speaking opportunity The Media Interview (Cont’d) Anticipate what questions will be asked Prepare and return to your key message – 30 second sound bite Know how to bridge to your key message – constantly return to it Talk with picture words – create an image Maintain control – focus on main points The Media Interview (Cont’d) Practise – be prepared for anything Print vs radio vs television interview Before / During / After the interview – tips for success Other Ways to Gain Positive Media Exposure Letters to the Editor, Op/Ed article Fact sheets, backgrounders Speaker for service groups, associations Radio talk shows, cable TV programs Target various audiences and their media Submit an article on Emergency Planning Care and Feeding of a Reporter Treat as a professional Know what interests him/her Compliment accurate, well-written work Return telephone calls “The little things” are important During an Emergency Communication roles in your plan: Community Spokesperson Emergency Information Officer Citizen Inquiry Officer How to work with “outside” media Twenty-one Media Relations Tips… “Lightning round” of ideas See you at the session… Thank you. Any questions? Earl Evans Chief Administrative Officer/Clerk Municipality of Magnetawan