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Working with the Media (Without fear and loathing)

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Presentation on theme: "Working with the Media (Without fear and loathing)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Working with the Media (Without fear and loathing)

2 The pundits speak! TV is a medium because it is neither rare nor well done. Ernie Kovacs Newspapers should have no friends. Joseph Pulitzer Newspapers should have no friends. Joseph Pulitzer The mission of the modern newspaperThe mission of the modern newspaper is to comfort the afflicted is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. and afflict the comfortable. Anonymous Anonymous A journalists knowledge is three miles wide A journalists knowledge is three miles wide and one inch deep. Anonymous and one inch deep. Anonymous Journalism is the ability to meet the challenge of filling space. Rebecca West Rebecca West

3 I find television very educating. Every time someone turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. Groucho Marx I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it. Thomas Jefferson If you sent me to cover a pie baking contest on Mother's Day, I'm going to ask dear old mom why she used artificial sweetener or stole the apples! Sam Donaldson

4 When they come to you What works and what doesnt WorksDoesnt Sticking to key themesSpecific talking points Remembering why Sales pitches, cross promos theyre here theyre here ConversationsOne-way communication NaturalForced GesturesIndividual fingers

5 What do they want? If it bleeds, it leads. If it bleeds, it leads. Anything that bleeds Anything that bleeds Sex-related stories Sex-related stories Crime (federal preferred) Crime (federal preferred) Government waste Government waste Abuse of power Abuse of power Other (stinking, dripping, oozing, popping) Other (stinking, dripping, oozing, popping) Open Season Open Season i.e. The Sweeps i.e. The Sweeps (February, May, July and November) (February, May, July and November)

6 Working with the Media 101 The media tends to appear suddenly. Some prefer to cover events out of context. The media tends to appear suddenly. Some prefer to cover events out of context. A natural tension exists between media and public relations: PRs goal is to minimize what they want to maximize. A natural tension exists between media and public relations: PRs goal is to minimize what they want to maximize.

7 Working with the Media 102 Define your message: Define your message: know what you want to say. Are you responding or lecturing? Are you responding or lecturing? Always try to do interviews standing up. Always try to do interviews standing up. Never let em see you sweat – or whine. Never let em see you sweat – or whine.

8 On-the-record vs. off-the-record There is no such thing asoff-the-record.

9 A broadcast reporters typical day Read newspapers and check Web sites before work Read newspapers and check Web sites before work Develop four or five story ideas for morning meeting Develop four or five story ideas for morning meeting Work on a story idea thats someone elses idea Work on a story idea thats someone elses idea Tell someones life story in 90 seconds Tell someones life story in 90 seconds Adjust 90-second story to 45 seconds because you were just given another story Adjust 90-second story to 45 seconds because you were just given another story Re-adjust 45-second story because a producer just read your snooty e-mail Re-adjust 45-second story because a producer just read your snooty e-mail Update your resume and clips Update your resume and clips

10 A print reporters typical day Clear beat stories with assistant managing editor Clear beat stories with assistant managing editor Place first round of calls to sources Place first round of calls to sources Nudge enterprise story along Nudge enterprise story along Place second round of calls to sources Place second round of calls to sources Cover truck crash, per managing editor Cover truck crash, per managing editor Stonewalled by sources – adjust focus of both beat stories Stonewalled by sources – adjust focus of both beat stories Shelve enterprise story until tomorrow Shelve enterprise story until tomorrow Assure editor all stories will be filed by 4:30 Assure editor all stories will be filed by 4:30 4:25 – file two beat stories and truck crash story 4:25 – file two beat stories and truck crash story Lay head on desk and re-consider career in insurance Lay head on desk and re-consider career in insurance

11 What is news, anyway? Dog Bites Man Man Bites Dog

12 We have nothing to fear… If they say a camera adds 10 pounds to your appearance, why does it look like I have four cameras on me?

13 …but fear itself. Believing its stressful (microphone syndrome) Believing its stressful (microphone syndrome) Thinking perfection = success Thinking perfection = success Covering too much material Covering too much material Trying to please everyone Trying to please everyone Comparing yourself to other speakers Comparing yourself to other speakers Expecting the worst Expecting the worst Being self-conscious Being self-conscious

14 Three keys to a successful interview Be authentic. Be authentic. Be prepared. Be prepared. Be conversational. Be conversational.

15 Message Mapping Getting them (and you) from A to Y

16 Why Message Mapping? Effective messages: short and concise 16-second sound bites - MAX

17 Message Mapping: The Process Create two columns Create two columns Negative points (worst nightmares) Negative points (worst nightmares) Positive points (what your organization does better than anyone else) Positive points (what your organization does better than anyone else)

18 Hypothetical Message Map NegativesPositives 1. Low test scoresA. High test scores 2. Dissatisfied staffB. Benedum Collaborative 3. Problem parentsC. Extensive professional development 4. Not enough textbooksD. Involved parents 5. Allegations of wrongdoingE. Family literacy program 6. Workplace violenceF. Before- and after- school programs

19 Message Mapping Strategy The 16-second sound bite :05 Respond to the question succinctly and honestly. :11 Position two positive points that support school/district vision/mission/goals.

20 Message Mapping Example Negative pointsPositive points 1. Low test scoresA. High test scores 2. Dissatisfied staffB. Benedum Collaborative 3. Problem parentsC. Extensive professional development 4. Not enough textbooksD. Involved parents 5. Allegations of wrongdoingE. Family literacy program 6. Workplace violenceF. Before- and after- school programs

21 Message Mapping: Work it Your 16 seconds of fame Many of our parents are actively engaged in Many of our parents are actively engaged in their childrens education – and we encourage their involvement. (five seconds). Our students high test scores, especially in Our students high test scores, especially in reading, reflect the positive impact of constructive parental participation in programs that extend beyond the classroom, such as our family literacy program. (11 seconds)

22 Stay on message Identify your message map Identify your message map Write it down Write it down Practice it Practice it Use it Use it

23 How does the media think? ProcessthinkersvsIntuitivethinkers

24 Process thinkers Process #1 + Process #2 + Process #3 + Process #4 + Process #5 = End result Intuitive thinkers Process #1 + Two-day old bread + Brady Bunch + Brunch – Task #4 = Hunch

25 Inevitable collision: process meets intuitive Process thinkers give their best sound bites at the beginning of an interview. Process thinkers give their best sound bites at the beginning of an interview. Intuitive thinkers dont listen until the end of the interview. Intuitive thinkers dont listen until the end of the interview.

26 Defining statements Bring attention to the gist of your message: The bottom line is… The bottom line is… Whats most important is… Whats most important is… This is important because… This is important because… Its critical that… Its critical that… In review… In review… What all this means is… What all this means is…

27 No comment. Never,never, never.

28 Blocking statements I have nothing to add to my previous statement. Thats a good question. Id like to answer it, but Ill need to get you more information. Under the circumstances, Ill need to wait for additional developments before Im in a position to answer that question.

29 Always, always, always! Return press inquiries as promptly as possible. Principal Parker was… 1. …unavailable for comment at press time. 2. …refused to respond to the allegations. 3. …declined to return multiple phone calls.

30 Absolutely Verboten! Pedagogy Pedagogy Rubric Rubric Paradigm Paradigm The State Department The State Department Nickleby Nickleby C&I C&I IEP IEP SBA SBA EIEIO EIEIO No comment. No comment.

31 If you go to them: What works and what doesnt WorksDoesnt Sufficient lead timeDay-of-event contact E-mail, phone contact Hard copy release combination Succinct pitch (5 Ws)Loopy, meandering pitch Fact sheet hand-outNo available sources w/ MORE INFO contact info

32 Great photo op Lights!Camera!ACTION!Representative vs group photos Grip-n-grins Check passings

33 In praise of the slow news day Its amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always, just exactly, fits the newspaper. Its amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always, just exactly, fits the newspaper. Jerry Seinfeld


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