What are your beliefs or assumptions about the media? Your response could help determine how effective your media relations or public relations efforts will be.
Here are some of the common complaints you find about the media in general and reporters in particular. This post is not meant to imply the complaints aren't justified, but to present the "other side" of the issue so that you can better understand what's going on.
George Bernard Shaw's comment about communication also might be said for effective media or public relations, especially crisis communications.
Just when you though you've written the perfect press release or the perfect statement, you find out that what you thought you meant and what someone else understood were very different.
How can you improve your chances of effective communication in 2011?
Twitter signed up 100 million new users in 2010, according to mashable.com. Were you one of them?
The fast growth is nothing short of amazing, yet not too surprising in the new world of social media. The question you may still have is whether there's any real business value and whether it's a passing fad.
From the continued growth, it's definitely not a passing fad. It will only get bigger and become more ingrained with our daily lives.
As for whether there's any business value, especially when it comes to media relations and public relations, that depends entirely on how you use it.
Few things can seem as intimidating as learning that a reporter wants to interview you. With a little preparation, however, you can lower your blood pressure and improve your odds of making the interview a success.
First, find out what the reporter wants to talk about and then suggest a later time for the interview. This will give you time to prepare some notes or an outline to help guide your remarks.
You'll also want to develop some key message points that you can emphasize again and again during the interview.
Wondering if you can generate a little news or extra publicity over the next few weeks? It may be easier than you think.
This is the time of year that is not only a typically slow period for many journalists (see our previous post), but it's primed for news that highlights issues, trends and "best of" stories about the year that's coming to a close.
Take the opportunity the calendar gives you to beef up your public relations and media relations and consider a press release that looks back at your company's accomplishments, milestones or results. You can also offer your perspective on the news that you and others within your industry have faced over the previous year.
Here are a few examples of the kinds of press releases that work well at the end of the year:
Source: Chicago Tribune
The sharp disagreement between President Obama and House Democrats over extending the Bush era tax cuts appears, on the surface at least, to be a classic case of a failure to communicate.
The House Democratic caucus is furious with the President for agreeing to a compromise to extend the tax cuts for all income brackets, something he had previously opposed. In return, the President won the extension of unemployment benefits he wanted.
What the White House apparently failed to do was to get at least some of the Democratic leadership on board with the agreement so that they could begin to curry support behind the scenes. Now, they've got an uphill job convincing the opponents they need to get on board and support this deal. And, it could get sticky for the President.
Whether it's in the White House or your own house, line up support quietly, before you go public. Otherwise, you could have a PR problem that might have been avoided.
There are generally two slow times when it comes to news. Perhaps we should say "slower" times because the 24-hour news cycle never really stops.
One is in August, when the President, Congress and just about everybody else is on vacation. Other than crime, hurricanes and the occasional scandal, these can be pretty slow news days.
The other time is Christmas. Most public agencies and many companies go into slow-mo during the last two weeks of December and first week of January. That opens the door for news stories that might not generate much interest at many other times of the year.
Here's what you can do now to take advantage of this opportunity.
When you speak to a reporter, you are not actually addressing him. If that sounds strange, consider what happens when you have an exchange with the media:
Lesson: stay composed when facing the media. Effective Media relations or crisis communication is not a one-on-one conversation. You're speaking to the public - many of whom are your fans, clients or customers.