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Working with the media

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Working with the media Powered By Docstoc
					Working with the
    media
                a presentation
           by Bruce Hugman
  Consultant to the Uppsala Monitoring Centre
                    Pretoria
                September 2004
What are the principal
purposes of almost all media?


• To make profits and survive

• To provide entertainment and/or
 information


               Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                         2004
The ideal, visionary purposes
of the media?
• To discover and report the truth
• To expose injustice and corruption
• To inform and educate
• To empower



               Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                         2004
What is truth?

• A comprehensive account of an event,
  including every fact, detail and
  perspective, from every possible angle and
  viewpoint
• The illusion of ‘objectivity’



               Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                         2004
What is our everyday
conception of the truth?
• An account of events which matches our
  view of the world; our preferences, biases,
  prejudices, or
• Events or evidence which can be
  accommodated within our view of the
  world
• The illusion of ‘objectivity’
               Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                         2004
Everything is seen from a point
of view
• Personal
  – Emotional
  – Intellectual
  – Philosophical
• Social
• Educational
• Political
• Economic
                    Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                              2004
• Those who don’t share our point of view
  are ‘the enemy’
BUT
• Those with whom we don’t actively share
  our point of view, cannot see the world as
  we see it and may become the enemy


               Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                         2004
The media owe us nothing

• We must earn our right to their attention

What you do is of intense
 importance to society, but unless
 you promote its importance, it is
 invisible and mysterious
               Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                         2004
Hierarchy of journalists
• Knowledgeable, dedicated, specialists
• Competent generalists
• Inexperienced, generalists (often juniors)

• Personal and professional agendas

Our world is absolutely mysterious, obscure
 to outsiders
                  Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                            2004
The media are a fact of life
• Ignore
  – Court disaster
• Engage
  – Court opportunity
     • Moderate negativity/lack of knowledge
     • Encourage fairer and more comprehensive
       coverage
     • Spread the word
The media as allies, collaborators
                  Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                            2004
The power of the media

• Print
• Radio
• TV

What percentage of the population never
 sees a newspaper, listens to the radio or
 watches TV?
               Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                         2004
Develop an active media
relations policy and strategy
for all audiences
•   Popular
•   ‘Serious’ generalist
•   Specialist
•   Professional (nurses, doctors, pharmacists, etc)
•   International
•   Adult/youth/children


                   Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                             2004
Be clear about your messages

• What are the primary, key points you wish
  to communicate?
• What are the issues that matter to
  journalists and their audiences?
• What is the key background information
  needed to understand your messages?


               Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                         2004
Get to know key editors and
journalists
• Meet and brief regularly
  – Spread the word
  – Identify common agendas
  – Educate and inform
     • Provide background and context
  – Have allies in crisis
  – Take risks: off the record
• Provide formal education and training
                  Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                            2004
Methods

• Cultivating relationships
• News releases
• News conferences
• Sharing events and practice
• Features
• Availability for enquiry
• Education and training
               Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                         2004
News releases
•   Clear, brief and effective message
•   Lead with the message
•   Write for the journalist
•   Provide technical detail and background in Notes
    to Editors
•   Include quotations or examples
•   Include pictures or graphics
•   Provide for follow-up enquiries
•   Seek feedback

                   Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                             2004
Interviews
•   Be clear about the purpose of the interview
•   Be clear about your key points
•   Use simple language
•   Remain calm, relaxed and friendly
•   NEVER say ‘No comment’: explain problems with
    sensitive information
•   Take questions as prompts for your key points
•   Convey concern and commitment
                  Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                            2004
Events

• Conferences and briefings
• Launches
• Field trips: clinics, hospitals, labs, courses
• Meeting VIPs, patients, clinicians
• Training courses for journalists
• Regular informal contact

                 Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                           2004
Critical failures
•   Not having an active media relations strategy
•   Not engaging with journalists
•   Not taking initiatives
•   Being defensive or evasive
•   Not being available
•   Being invisible
•   Fear of debate or controversy

                   Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                             2004
‘Bad press’ results from:
•   Bad decisions
•   Dubious or corrupt behaviour
•   Unpopular decisions
•   Apparently arbitrary decisions
•   Unexplained decisions
•   Decisions implying conspiracy
•   Complex messages
•   Lack of context, background
•   Secrecy, evasiveness, defensiveness

                   Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                             2004
Key messages
• Develop a media relations strategy
• Select, educate and train your internal media
    contact people
•   Get to know editors and journalists
•   Establish open, collaborative relationships
•   Keep in touch
•   Spread the word; clear messages
•   NEVER say ‘No comment’
                    Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
                              2004
Bruce Hugman/UMC – Pretoria
          2004

				
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posted:7/11/2011
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