Media Protocol for Business and Life
When I was a Venue Media manager with the Commonwealth Games, I received some of the best coverage of the venues that I was looking after. I had some people ask me what was my secret.
I first inquired what they were doing and found out that some of them had an attitude of seeing the media as something to be suspicious of, to keep at bay and give as little as possible. In turn, the media had little regard for them as well.
There are many people who treat the media this way as well when it comes to their business, and then hope that the media will give them great coverage and a good story as well. This is a receipt for disaster.
First, true media does not have the time or energy to “GET” everyone. Often the people end up getting themselves in their worry or nervousness. They may say something dumb or negative or attack the reporter who is just doing his or her job. In most cases, the media does not have an ulterior motive and is just collecting information. If you do something foolish, remember though that it is not the media’s job to help you out of a crisis.
When you treat people with respect, they are much more likely to treat you the same way. Yes, there could be exception, but in most circumstances, I have found that it was never about me and more about what was happening to them at the time. For example, I had three cases where the people weren’t great to me, and in each case, they came back to apologize with gift or peace offering in hand.
They were each dealing with personal issues and / or were having a bad day. With forgiveness, you create a friend, someone who is more willing to help you out in the future.
Keep in mind that we need a symbiotic relationship with the media. There will be times when you want to announce an upcoming event, a breakthrough or change in your organization etc. How you have treated them in the past will affect what kind of coverage you will get and whether it is good or not.
The media can supply you with some very valuable free coverage and coverage that is 3rd hand. This coverage gives credibility to what you are doing or saying.
And should something happen that could be negative, the media may write the story whether you cooperate or not. For the most part, it is better to have your comments included rather than them only having half the facts or speculation to go on.
If it is a special event that will last for a while, coffee, treats and smiles go a long way with having them stay and giving good coverage. The cost of a coffee and a treat is small potatoes compared with the coverage that you can receive.
Oh, and my secret, just that. I treated them like human beings. I offered to get them coffee. And when the game went late, on the break I took them up to the athlete and coaches dinner area and gave them sandwiches and drinks. They were able to get great interviews and we received great coverage.
This can be a metaphor for many areas in our lives. Ask yourself, “How am I treating the people in my life that can help me the most?”