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.
The media are unfair
While this certainly can be true in specific instances, most reporters go to great lengths to present a balanced story. That's why it's essential for you or your organization is to make sure a reporter gets your side of the story. Don't assume you have no influence over how a reporter does his or her job. Help them out. It will be to your advantage.
The media only want to make you look bad
This is said most often by someone who comes across poorly in a story, but some of the time it's true. It's hard to make negative facts look good, no matter how much you try to spin it. However, the media also love redemption stories, comeback stories and underdog stories. Good news stories make the headlines, too, if they're interesting and compelling.
The media will twist what you say
This does happen, though most of the time it's because a reporter is looking for a quote or soundbite to match the rest of his or her story. That's why it's so important for you to be briefed and prepared to speak to a reporter. By having a strategic and targeted response and by asking the reporter questions, you can improve your odds of being quoted accurately.
The media aren't interested in my story
That all depends on what your story is. As we said earlier, a story that's compelling and interesting to enough people will get covered. Go ahead and issue that press release, and then follow-up with a phone call to see if there are any questions. You never know who might be interested.
Yes, the media have their faults and some reporters can be difficult to deal with, but a full understanding of the media can help to improve your chances of getting fair or even positive coverage.