3 Things To Remember About Reporters

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Whether a reporter is working for radio, television or print (yes, print still exists), remember these three things and your relationship will go much better.

One — A good reporter is friendly, but the reporter is not your friend.

A good reporter will be friendly and do all they can so you are relaxed and forthright. This isn’t diabolical — a relaxed, authentic spokesperson will be more quotable. You can be relaxed, but you still need to stay on your message. Don’t get too loose with a reporter while you are chatting.

Two — Everything you do and say is “on the record.”

Don’t say anything to a reporter that you are not willing to see in print. No jokes, no small talk about your issue. Once you are mic’d (have a microphone attached to you or anywhere near you), assume that it is on at all times. There is no “off the record.”

Three — A good reporter’s job is to get a good story.

And how do they know what a good story is? (Besides “a story that satisfies their editor.”) A story that people other than you want to read. Their job is not to present you in the best possible light.

So, give them a good story. Think about audiences for your story and what their readers/viewers will find compelling. Think about what sorts of questions their readers/viewers will have and come up with interesting answers. Think about the headline that will make readers want to read their story.

Want more on this?

Community Media Workshop has a bunch of great tips for working with reporters, like this one, Building Relationships with Journalists.


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