osewalrus (osewalrus) wrote,

Yesterday Was A Good Media Day

. All on the FCC fining AT&T $100 million.

NPR: http://www.npr.org/2015/06/18/415394708/fcc-fines-at-t-for-false-data-plan-promises
USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/06/17/fcc-fines-att-100-million/28863455/

For those interested, I include a few brief tips for how you and your org can get better press coverage.

A lot of times I hear people complaining they can't get press coverage, or hey don't get quoted when they talk to reporters. I also hear many jealous laments of my opposite numbers that I get quoted all the time and they don't whine, whine.  While not trying to be comprehensive, here are a few things that I do that don't fall into the standard advice I see (or which even run counter to that advice).

1. Have familiarity with the reporters covering your topic area and the particular focus of their outlet. A press release may provide your generic quote and talking point. But what you really want is (a) a follow up; or even better (b) reporters come to you when they are developing a story. You need to know who the reporters covering your topic area are -- especially as you will need to pitch/cultivate them initially. That means knowing what product they are trying to produce. This is important because --

2. A reporter is trying to create a product, usually on an insanely tight deadline. Reporters do not have time to waste, especially for a breaking story. They are trying to produce a specific story on deadline. Know what is relevant for them and don't waste their time. That alone may get reporters coming back to you.

3. Be a resource, not just a pitch. Repoters know why you want to talk to them. They are not idiots. They know when you are trying to spin them or mislead them. That's OK. They expect it. But then you are not a value add.

You should be able to explain reasonably objectively why the story is important and why the reporters readers will care (see #2 above). You need to be familiar with the facts. Your talking points (you have your talking points, right?) will make more sense and be much more persuasive when the reporter understands the story.

I get a lot of calls from reporters because they want me to explain fairly complicated FCC stuff to them in simple terms, or provide needed history on why this thing is happening. I get a lot of repeat calls because I am very god at doing that. Which also includes:

Distinguish your talking point/perspective from the objective narrative. Yes, that is hard to do, and you will never be perfect at it. But try. Remember the reporter is going to write up the objective version before quoting you. (I'm assuming a mainstream media reporter on a standard story, not an ideological outlet or an opinion piece. A reporter for Daily Caller or Talking Points Memo is different.)

Know your opponents talking points and your response. You don't want to lead with them, but you may be asked. Answer without pejoratives. Srsly. 

I only include these because you may find yourself in a similar situation, or know someone in a similar situation.

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