Are you being interviewed by a reporter? Do you want to promote an event at your cooperative to your community? NAHC provides these tips for working with the media – and guidelines for writing a media alert.

Tips for Working with the Media: Do’s & Don’ts

DO’s (9 things you should do in a media interview)

  • Ask the reporter what information s/he needs and the deadline.
  • Tell the reporter you’ll return a call in 15 minutes; use that time to be prepared.
  • Know you goal, audience and key, quotable points.
  • Respond to the reporter’s questions and use the interview as an opportunity to communicate your agenda.
  • Speak clearly, concisely and without jargon.
  • Educate the reporter.
  • Tell the truth. If you don’t know something, tell the reporter you don’t know and will find an answer (if you can find an answer).
  • Stay in control and remember your agenda.
  • Use the reporter’s last question to re-state your key points.

DON’Ts (7 things you shouldn’t do in a media interview)

  • Ask the reporter for a list of questions before the interview.
  • Say anything you don’t want published or speak “off the record.”
  • Panic! Remember, you’re prepared.
  • Assume the reporter understands your industry or issue.
  • Ramble. Keep your answers concise and quotable.
  • Repeat a negative or respond to a negative or hostile question defensively.
  • Promise to follow up with the reporter if you don’t plan to do so.

Calendar Listing/Media Alert

Is your cooperative planning a community event? Many media outlets will print or run calendar announcements for events. Visit the websites of your local media to find an online form to complete for a calendar listing. Be prepared to complete the form; most require the following information:

  • Event name
  • Date/time/location
  • Contact person
  • Fees (if any)
  • Reason for event
  • Audience (i.e., is the event for children? Families? Adults?)
  • Accessibility
  • Parking availability
  • Public transportation nearby (bus routes, subway, train, etc.)
  • Registration deadline