19 Pitfalls to avoid when dealing with the Mass Media for your Business Story
- Do not comment on political or economic issues except within the bounds of stated company positions.
- Do not disclose private company information without approval from the top.
- Do not presume, comment on, or explain any position of the company relative to laws, regulations, economic issues, or government policy.
- Do not disclose any matters of internal operations.
- Do not comment on pending or threatened litigation or other legal proceedings involving your company without clearance from the top and the company's legal counsel.
- Do not say anything to the media "off-the-record."
- Do not suggest an "exclusive" to a second reporter before it is definitely refused by the first.
- Do not be a pest by repeatedly calling the media to see if your story has been accepted.
- Do not invent reasons to call a reporter.
- Do not pressure a reporter by mentioning that your company "pays to advertise" in that medium.
- Do not insist on name identification in a story.
- Do not ask reporters if they will use a story. It is their editor's decision. Ask the editor only once.
- Do not ask to read a story before it is used.
- Do not send out a news release that is not newsworthy or a picture or graphic that is not of high technical quality.
- Do not schedule press conferences in any but the most unusual circumstances and make sure they are "worth it" to the press.
- Do not telephone a reporter or editor when they are on deadline unless it is an important news development. Use the fax or e-mail instead.
- Do not use acronyms or jargon in news releases.
- Do not send out news releases or issue statements with spelling or grammatical errors.
- Do not put out any statements that are questionable, unconventional, or controversial without it being attributed to a quoted source.
Have a question for Andrew? Ask or leave a comment below!