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Media Relations

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					Feb 10




         1
   Next week, Please read Chapter 6, 7




                                          2
   We are going to review good and bad news
    releases
   We will review fact sheets
   Discuss assignment
    ◦ Please ask questons!!




                                               3
   This is the difference between
    ◦ Going after the media & trying to get a story
    ◦ Having to react to a story
      Reacting to a story
        Issues management/crisis management
        Simple reaction stories




                                                      4
   This is what we are doing with the news
    release
   As we read a few weeks ago, the news release
    is a media driver
   Trying to get earned media




                                                   5
   There are many other ways to get earned
    media
   News release is most common
   You will be getting into other tactics in
    communications planning course
   We will get into that later
   For now we are concentrating on news
    release, which is usually released in
    conjunction with other tactics



                                                6
   What is the first thing you should do before
    getting started with a news release?




                                                   7
   Define your objectives
   Develop your messages
   Determine your audience
   Determine the media you will be going after




                                                  8
   Let‟s do some objectives together
   I will help you with your news release due in a
    few weeks
   Together, let‟s work on objectives, audience
    & media

   (when we get to media, let‟s briefly outline
    their objectives too – what is news to them?)




                                                      9
   1. Target audience – who am I speaking to?
   2. What am I trying to communicate?
   3. Which media outlets will I be speaking
    with?
   4. What is the news?
   Once this is determined then begin crafting
    some messages
   I always believe you need main messages –
    High level
   Sub messages to help support the main
    message
                                                  10
   Already discussed leads. Your lead is the first
    paragraph of your news release
   We‟ve discussed the 5 W‟s 1 H
   We‟ve discussed the anatomy of the lead –
    how to write it/ KISS/ the main points
   We‟ve discussed how it must have news focus
   Now to discuss the messages




                                                      11
   Always keep in mind your objective and the
    news value in your message
   Ensure it meets both requirements, especially
    if going after media
   If it‟s to push a product – make sure it‟s not
    just an ad for that product, find the news
    value in it
   Then craft your messages




                                                     12
   I don‟t believe there is only one way to craft a key
    message
   No hard rules
   But generally, you can think of claim + fact +
    example
   Claim: McGuinty gov‟t has restored peace to the
    education system
   Fact: There are 90% fewer teacher strikes in
    Ontario than when Conservatives in power
   Example: School system better funded, classes
    smaller (hard examples $1B new funds, classes
    capped at 21)

                                                           13
   McGunity government has restored peace to
    our education system with 90% fewer
    teachers strikes and more money for the
    classroom.
   Think of it in quotes:
   “we‟ve restored peace to the education
    system - teachers are not striking anymore
    because we‟ve put $1B more into classroom
    spending and capped class sizes at 21.”




                                                 14
   Claim: Government underfunding legal
    system
   Fact: 70% of courts in Ontario are facing
    backlogs
   Ex: In Ontario alone, funding has dropped 1.5
    billion dollars in the last 6 years
   Message:
   Ontario‟s courts are backlogged because of
    chronic underfunding - the government has
    cut $1.5 billion from the system in the last
    six years.
                                                    15
   Sub messages or secondary, support the
    main message
   All messages can be used externally – to the
    media – and your target audience and
    internally to other stakeholders, internally
    within your company/organization
   (Everyone within your organization needs to
    be aware of your key messages to help you
    deliver consistent messages * internal
    communications)

                                                   16
   It‟s nice if your key message ends up in the
    paper verbatim
   Not realistic
   Even if it‟s chopped off at the claim – you‟ve
    got a portion of your message out
   If it‟s chopped at the fact, you‟ve got your
    message out
   Even if it‟s chopped off at the example –
    you‟ve got your message out



                                                     17
   Company name can be included but be aware
    it likely won‟t be in article if it gets pick up by
    media
   If it sounds like an ad, it won‟t get pick up
   If the news value is truly present, you will
    likely get pick up
   Remember how reporters think
   Remember to keep your objectives in mind
   Balance the two and you‟ve got a key
    message

                                                          18
   You work for lawn care company, Lawns R Us,
    popular with homeowners
   Take care of lawns by killing weeds, usually
    with pesticides
   You have new environmentally sensitive
    product that homeowners can use if they
    wish (not new product, but safe for
    environment)
   Want to send out news release on this
    product

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   Remember KISS – 30 word sentences (if
    possible)
   Remember news value
   Remember your objectives:
   1. who am I speaking to?
   2. What am I trying to communicate?
   3.Which media?
   4. What is the news?



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   Reporters commonly refer to PR professionals
    as Flacks/Flunkies/lackie




                                                   21
   Clip – the audio quote/portion of a TV, radio
    story. Radio can be referred to as an actual or
    actuality as well.
   Average clip 7 to 9 seconds (your message in
    there)
   Voice over or V/O – the portion of TV story that
    has reporter talking, explaining the story
   Cut aways / B roll – TV jargon for the visuals
    used in background of story, underneath the
    voice over
   If TV reporter tells you they need B roll – can be
    the story showing reporter, interviewer walking
    street, looking at computer, answering phone


                                                         22
   Relationship between reporter/communicator
    ◦ Relationship strained
    ◦ Reporters don‟t understand what PR professionals
      do
    ◦ PR professionals don‟t understand reporters (why I
      want you to think like reporters)
    ◦ Both need each other
    ◦ Inherent distrust




                                                           23
   Bottom line – generally, PR needs reporters
    more than they need you (especially if you‟re
    a small group WANTing media attention)
   Reporters know this and take advantage of it
    to a certain extent
   Why do you need them more than they need
    you?
   Discuss




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   Very often, reporters view the PR professional
    as the person they have to „get through‟ or
    „get by‟ to get their story
   If you work for politician, you are definitely
    the person „in the way‟ of their story
   They want to „get around you‟ to do their
    stories and will do whatever they can for their
    stories.




                                                      25
   They want to „get around‟ you because they want
    to be as close to the story as possible.
   If it‟s a story about school spending – instead of
    the PR person quoted in story, they‟d rather have
    the Chair of the School Board or the trustee
   If it‟s a police story, instead of the PR person,
    they want the officer
   Get close to the story
   Unfortunately, not always possible to make the
    person available / they have to take PR person
    instead

                                                         26
   Reporters – no shortage of people wanting to
    get into the news
   No shortage of PR professionals trying to
    „spin‟ them
   No shortage of News releases coming across
    their desk
   Reporters believe they are doing you a favor if
    they go with your story




                                                      27
   PR people may believe that reporters are
    rude, call too much for one story, too
    persistent
   This is because reporters call PR people all
    day long – no returned calls right away – no
    respect for deadlines –worry their requests
    will fall into a big black hole
   Surprised how often PR people don‟t call back
    to let reporter know they are looking into
    their request, don‟t respect deadline


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   Issuing a news release with no contact
    information at bottom
   Issuing a news release and your contact name
    is there, but you are unavailable when they do
    call (voice mail etc…..they hate tracking
    people down)
   Issuing a news release and too much follow
    up. Calling 2 to 3 times to ensure its been
    received or if they are doing story!!



                                                     29
   Hurts PR people when issuing too many news
    releases (some issue 2 to 3 a week- this signals
    to reporter, the PR person doesn‟t know news )
   News release too long (several pages too long);
    no news in it – 1 page or 1.5 pages MAX
   News release contains information that should
    instead be advertising
   News in the release isn‟t clear
   All of this hurts PR credibility – why I want you to
    write your releases to get pick up.



                                                           30
   Deadline driven business
   Reporters will often say “my deadline is at
    3pm” when its really at 5 – they do this b/c
    many PR people will try to stretch the
    deadline or not respect it.
   Always a good idea – call reporter back – “got
    your request, working on getting an interview
    for you – will definitely call you back before
    your deadline”



                                                     31
   Many reporters feel as though PR person is
    trying to control them or control the story
   Do not try to prevent them from getting their
    story – work with them as much as possible
   EX: they are doing feature piece on your
    President/ politician – they want to interview
    someone you know will not say something
    good. Do NOT try to tell them not to
    interview that person. You can say “I have
    someone else you may want to speak to if
    you‟re interested.”


                                                     32
   Never go „over their head‟ to try to speak to
    editor about why reporter should not do a
    story
    ◦ That will signal to editor & reporter that the story is
      DEFINITELY worth pursuing. Will make them think
      they are onto something (GIVE EX. Mc)
   If you don‟t like where they are going with a
    story – never call their editor/boss to
    complain ** Only call once story published
    and if it‟s inaccurate. (respectful)
   Work with the reporter not against.

                                                                33
   View reporters as not knowing enough about
    issue/subject
   Reporters seen to report half-truths
   Reporters take angle that is not accurate
   Reporters seen to be too cynical, rude, pushy
    and yet not informed
   Reporters take „other side‟ of the story when
    there is no real other side




                                                    34
   Bend over backwards for reporter still not
    grateful/thankful/respectful
   Treated with disrespect by reporter
   Inaccuracy/out of context **
   Reporters don‟t call PR department – call
    others in company on their own – PR
    questions this (remember getting close to
    story)




                                                 35
   Never tell reporter you will respect their
    deadline if you can‟t & If you can‟t – make
    sure it‟s a good reason (this HAS to be a good
    reason)
   Joke around about issue - always be aware
    that whatever you say could be quoted **
    (election/sliced meat)
   Litmus test -if this were in a paper with
    quotes around it – how would that appear?



                                                     36
   You are always on the record
   When a reporter wants you to go off the
    record, it can be dangerous
   When you bump into a reporter when you‟re
    off the job at a supermarket, you‟re on the
    record.
   Off the record – if you tell them something
    they think is interesting, they will do
    everything in their power to get it on the
    record ( go to someone else etc.)

                                                  37
   Litmus test – if you are comfortable with the
    information being given ending up in the
    paper with quotes around it, then by all
    means go off the record
   Many PR people do go off the record/ very
    common in political circles – but still
    dangerous
   I‟m leery of this
   If you do go off the record, be wary of
    objectives, stakeholders, support, etc (also is
    your boss aware?????)


                                                      38
   Off the record
   “can have different meanings to different
    people. Be sure everyone is operating under
    the same meanings. “
   This is why if you are going off the record,
    you need to be aware that
    ◦ 1 reporter can quote your department
    ◦ 2. reporter can identify your gender
    ◦ 3. reporter can indicate whether you have a
      senior/junior position



                                                    39
   Very often if you are off the record and you end
    up being quoted, you will be called a „source‟
   Some reporters will ask if you can be identified as
    a source – others won‟t
   Litmus test from CP – what public good will the
    story serve? What are the legal risks? What ethical
    considerations are involved?
   Also CP says “ use specifics that give readers
    reason to believe the source…. Ex: an industry
    source close to negotiations, Finance Department
    official who worked on the draft”

                                                          40
   When you consider your gender, department
    and ranking can be identified in the article,
    would you still be willing to go off the record?
   Consider:
    ◦ How it looks
    ◦ Will it affect my job?
    ◦ Will it affect my organization/company/ boss
      (politician) in a positive or negative way?
    ◦ Will it affect our reputation?
    ◦ Will it affect stakeholders or a project they are
      working on?


                                                          41
   Another pitfall – going off the record and
    then trying to backtrack
   Some reporters will comply others won‟t
   Hurts credibility

   FYI read “sources” in CP stylebook under CP
    policies to help clarify the off record/sources
    issue




                                                      42
   Reporters will very often ask for background
    information
   They then sometimes say, not for quoting
   This is different than off the record
   This is to merely bring reporter up to speed
    on the current issue/ How we got to this state
    in negotiations etc
   Still on the record, it fills in information
   Sometimes best to say – “ are you looking for
    background information or a quote?”

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