This week, I get to be the one asking for advice. I have asked recently retired Channel 7 news reporter Cheryl Chodun, who will be the speaker at this weeks CEO Connect, to answer the question: What advice do you have for executives on how to relate to the media?
Cheryl shares the following tips:
- Recognize that the media can be your friend. Seek to develop a positive relationship with reporters and news desk editors.
- If you have positive news to announce, plan a press conference where you can invite representatives from several media sources, or send a press release to all the news outlets.
- If you want to be an expert resource for news outlets to use, get to know a reporter or news editor to let them know about yourself and your area of expertise. Be sure to provide detailed contact information. Remember, they want to know and use you, as much as you want to receive the exposure.
- When you are interviewed, even if it’s for a problem, always say something. Never look like you are trying to avoid or run away from an interview. You can always say “We are looking into it, and will get back to you when we know more.”
In a large organization, be sure to have a designated person to speak to the media. This person should be comfortable being interviewed and well informed on the topic.
- Be clear about the difference between “off the record” and “on background.”
Don’t be afraid to end the interview with “I want to double check that we are 100% clear.” It’s ok to ask if the reporter has understood what you are trying to convey.
If you would like to hear Cheryl talk about these points (and more!) in person or ask her your own questions, please contact us and we would be happy to send you an invitation for CEO Connect (Friday September 27th 2013 at 7:00 am).
Please continue to send in your questions for Dr. Rob for future columns.