Seven things you need to do when the media comes calling

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Written By Maureen

As a journalist with News Limited for 12 years (prior to joining The Copy Collective) including being Business Editor of The Daily Telegraph, the Online Editor of Sydney Confidential and National Technology Writer for News Limited Maureen Shelley knows a thing or two about working with the media and is happy to share her knowledge.

OUR luminous leader Dominique Antarakis features – quite rightly – in a recent edition of The Australian  and we are excited that she’s getting the attention that she deserves. That said, what are the seven things you must do when the media comes calling?

  1. Say yes – make yourself available within reason when members of the Fourth Estate call
  2. Be prepared – if they call you out of the blue, give yourself permission to say “I’ll call you right back”. Take a deep breath, think about what message you want to get across (it needs to be a 30 second MAX sound bite) and stay on message. Also, have a professionally taken headshot on hand that you can supply if requested.
  3. If they want to take a photograph, ask when the deadline is and make sure that you can be at the shoot with your hair, make up and clothes portraying the way you want your business to be perceived If you’re in you’re slippy’s and trackies, then do you have time to change or can you change the time of the shoot? (Never hurts to ask). If you can’t change anything, then go with the picture anyway – a bad picture is better than no picture (unless it’s one of these).
  4. Be colourful – colourful quotes get up higher in business stories and have less chance of being cut by the sub-editor. So, while being neither flippant nor disrespectful, say, “Our business rocks” rather than “When all things are considered, our business is responding well in what is a challenging economic climate”.
  5. Ask for the media person’s direct number, email or mobile phone number. That way, the next time you have a story to tell, you can go back to them directly.
  6. Don’t cyber stalk them, don’t try and be their friend on Facebook (although LinkedIn is fine and so is following them on Twitter) but do contact them with an email and follow up phone call if you have a real story. Don’t – and I mean DON’T – insult the journo or media person involved.
  7. Know when you have a story – Don’t call the media if you’ve installed a new piece of equipment in your tanning studio. Do call them if you are the owner of a tanning studio and there has been a recent victim of a drive-by shooting at your tanning studio.