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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
Why the Media are Important
  • DENR’s smallmarketing budget
  • Media provides a direct link to the public we serve
why working with the media is important
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
foundations for success
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
how many of you have dealt with the media

How many of you have dealt with the media?

Was it a good or bad experience? Why?

denr media policy
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
okay but why can t the pio just do it
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”
when you do talk to the media
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
be prepared

Be Prepared …

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

DENR newsclips:

DENR news releases:

Communicate with your PIO re: “good news” stories

specific guidelines
Specific Guidelines
  • Television, radio and newspaper reporters are looking for different things when they are covering a story.
  • Driving Need #1: Good visuals
  • Driving Need #2: Brevity - time for each story is limited


  • 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
  • Driving Need #1: Good sound
  • Driving Need #2: Quick access to sources


  • 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


  • Most newspaper reporters want details.
  • Some reporters may have lots of time to develop a story
  • Be prepared to give them what they want
  • Be ready with documentation
the new media
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
giving interviews
Giving Interviews
  • Stay in control
  • Remember: It is your chance to get your information to the public
  • Be prepared
  • Don’t bluff
rules to live or die by
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.

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.
rules to live or die by21
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.

more rules to live or die by
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”
don t feel comfortable
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.
after the interview
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
internal communication is critical before during after interviews
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
resources and links
Resources and Links
  • DENR News Media Policy
  • DENR Media Training Manual:
  • N.C. Public Records Law:
  • Charges/Payments for Public Records: