Working With the Media
Communicating with the media is a core component of communications and public relations for any organization. It is important for the reputation and public support of an organization to be open and available for the media and to nurture and maintain positive media relationships.
Once you become familiar with the different types of media and what is news, navigate through the links on the left to get and overview, tips and examples of several ways to communication with and through the media.
Know the Media
Journalists – reporters, editors, publishers or producers, are the people in the media with whom you will interact. Their job is to report news that is important or of interest to the general public. Your job is to ensure that media representatives know they can get accurate, timely information from your organization.
Do your homework. The easiest way to get to know the media is to look at their product. Read the newspaper, watch and listen to the news. Does they cover things that relate to your organization? Which reporter(s) typically writes the stories similar to the ones you would be pitching?
Here are some ways to get to know the media, and help them get to know you before a breaking news event happens:
- Invite a reporter to visit your facility. Being able to see things in action will give reporters a better understanding of your organization and what it does.
- Visit the media on their turf through an editorial board
- Introduce you, your leadership and your organization to the editor(s)
- Present them with background info, or media packet, on your organization
- Pitch story ideas
- Become familiar with the beat reporter and keep him or her informed
- Get them what they need in a timely matter
- Become a point of contact not only for info on your organization, but also other topics
- Put together a media contact list including names, direct phone lines and email addresses of key media
Know the difference between coverage and collaboration. Work for the former, don't expect the latter. Reporters appreciate a good source, but they aren't looking for partners.