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
- Contact person
- Fees (if any)
- Reason for event
- Audience (i.e., is the event for children? Families? Adults?)
- Parking availability
- Public transportation nearby (bus routes, subway, train, etc.)
- Registration deadline