Chapter 11: Getting Along with Journalists

This chapter does a great job explaining that public relations is the source that feeds news to journalists. It also illustrates public relations’ dependence on the media to convey messages constantly and consistently in order to inform, to shape opinions and attitudes, and to motivate(Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques). Most importantly, however, chapter 11 emphasizes the significance of journalists and practitioners working together in a cohesive manner.

There are five issues that cause friction between journalists and practitioners. They include hype and news release spam, name calling, sloppy/biased reporting, tabloid journalism, and advertising influence. The text includes many ways to avoid these areas of friction. However, building relationships based on mutual cooperation, trust, and respect is an effective way to eliminate friction (Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques).

Chapter 11 includes a huge list of tips on how to handle interviews with print or broadcast personnel. I found the following to be particularly helpful:

1) Determine, in advance, what key point or message you want to convey on behalf of the organization or client.

2) Answer questions, but link them to your key message whenever possible.

3) Anticipate questions and plan answers.

4) Never say “no comment.”

5) Don’t answer hypothetical questions.

6) Don’t speak ill about the competition or other individuals.

7) Always answer positively. It’s the answer that counts, not the question.

8 ) If a question is unfair or too personal, say so and refuse to answer. You are not required to answer every question.

9) Admit that you don’t know the answer if that is the case (Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques).

I discovered something called a press junket, or a press tour, in the text. It’s a variation of a press preview and is also called a familiarization tour. They usually involve invitations to key reporters, bloggers, and experienced freelance writers for an expense-paid trip to witness an event, view a new product, tour a facility, or visit a resort complex(Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques).

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