Why the Media are Important - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Why the Media are Important DENR’s small marketing budget Media provides a direct link to the public we serve Why Working with the Media is Important The way we interact with the media makes a difference in how our agencies and our work are perceived

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Why the Media are Important

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Why the Media are Important

  • DENR’s smallmarketing budget

  • Media provides a direct link to the public we serve

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Why Working with the Media is Important

  • The way we interact with the media makes a difference in how our agencies and our work are perceived

  • Positive, proactive approaches = valuable, long lasting relationships

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Foundations for Success

  • Handle ALL media requests quickly, accurately and honestly

  • Remember media interviews are an opportunity - not a burden

  • Good media interaction is good customer service

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How many of you have dealt with the media?

Was it a good or bad experience? Why?

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DENR Media Policy:


  • DENR employees are encouraged – though most are not required – to talk to the media about their area of expertise:

    • Keep to the facts only

    • Refer to other sources when necessary

  • Only PIOs, division/office directors and secretary’s staff are required to talk to the media -- unless directed otherwise by division director

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Okay...but...why? Can’t the PIO just do it?

  • You are THE experts, and an interview with you presents the technical side of DENR.

  • It shows the folks “in uniform,” on the front line of the issue

  • This increases credibility with the public - real interviews with real people, not just “spin doctors”

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When you do talk to the Media:


  • You are required to alert your PIO after you have talked to the media

  • You are not required to tell your division/agency PIO before talking to the media, but you are encouraged to do so if you have scheduled a lengthy interview, topic is “hot”, etc.

  • Always get the names of the reporter and the news organization

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Be Prepared …

Be aware of topics “in the news” in your region, within DENR and nationally.

DENR newsclips: http://portal.ncdenr.org/group/opa/newsclips

DENR news releases:http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/opa/news-releases

Communicate with your PIO re: “good news” stories

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Specific Guidelines

  • Television, radio and newspaper reporters are looking for different things when they are covering a story.

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  • Driving Need #1: Good visuals

  • Driving Need #2: Brevity - time for each story is limited

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  • Brief, to-the-point sound bites or quotes

  • Sparse detail

  • No technical/government jargon

  • Look at the reporter, not the camera.

  • Program experts or “real people” affected by/or strongly supportive of program/policy etc. are excellent for TV interviews

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  • Driving Need #1: Good sound

  • Driving Need #2: Quick access to sources

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  • Short, to-the-point sound bites

  • Don’t go overboard with details.

  • Avoid “time stamping” your comments

  • If you misspeak, it’s okay to stop and start over in a recorded interview

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  • Most newspaper reporters want details.

  • Some reporters may have lots of time to develop a story


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  • Be prepared to give them what they want

  • Be ready with documentation

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The “New Media”

  • All reporters in all mediums are doing double duty

  • Traditional roles and rules about deadlines are blurry

  • Definition of “journalist” is fuzzy

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Giving Interviews

  • Stay in control

  • Remember: It is your chance to get your information to the public

  • Be prepared

  • Don’t bluff

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Rules to Live (or Die) By

  • Answer reporters’ calls, or refer them to someone who will return their calls. Don’t ignore reporters. They won’t go away. Be aware of reporters’ deadlines.

  • Always prepare for an interview. Otherwise, you may end up breaking the rest of these rules. Don’t get pushed into an on-the-spot interview if you feel you are not prepared.

  • Always have an agenda. Know what you want to achieve through the interview (besides surviving it). Take the opportunity to show positive things happening; try to turn a potential negative into a positive.

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  • Think before you speak. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know…” Don’t be afraid of pauses in conversation.

  • Never LIE to a reporter.

  • Don’t speculate. Just the facts!

  • 7. Stick to your area of expertise.

  • 8. Stay on the record.

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Rules to Live (or Die) By

9. Don’t be offended by a reporter’s ignorance, and don’t be impatient.

10. Don’t accept a reporter’s definitions.

11. Never be argumentative, nasty or yell at a reporter.

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More Rules to Live (or Die) By

  • Never ask to review a story before it is broadcast, published or posted.

  • Avoid jargon or acronyms

  • Never, ever, ever, say “No comment”

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Don’t Feel Comfortable?

  • Just explain to the reporter that you do not feel comfortable and refer him/her to someone else who can help.


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After the interview…

  • Let division PIO or Office of Public Affairs know about interview (reporter and organization; when expected to be aired/posted)

  • How did it go?

  • How to handle inaccurate/misquoted information

  • Issues with specific reporters

  • Checking online editions/blogs

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Internal Communication is Critical: Before/During/After Interviews

  • Use your PIOs for help in preparing for interviews

  • How can Office of Public Affairs Help?

  • Questions? Call Diana Kees, (919) 715-4112 or Jamie Kritzer, (919) 715-7357

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Resources and Links

  • DENR News Media Policyhttp://portal.ncdenr.org/web/opa/news-media-policy

  • DENR Media Training Manual: http://portal.ncdenr.org/group/opa/media-training

  • N.C. Public Records Law:http://www.ncpress.com/publicrecordslaw.html

  • Charges/Payments for Public Records:http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/opa

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