5 Tips of the Week – We have perfected the art of effective management of the communication processes in organisations. We share our insights on how to be on the cutting-edge of communication expertise
On relationships with the media
Relations with the press are not an accident.
Any spokesperson worth their salt must immense themselves into a thorough media engagement program.
You need to know the movers and shakers in the media space.
You need to know the editors of key publications that you are going to need in your industry,
You need to have a schedule of being in touch with the editors on a regular basis.
You need to maintain an up to date media list categorized sensibly to aid u in your communications work.
Communicators who have last update their list three months ago are sure to find changes that will embarrass them.
You need to be a bridge builder not a gate keeper. Make your principal accessible to the media.
Make sure your principal has a standing time of media engagement.
Many principals get so busy that they don’t prioritize the relations with the media, they them regret it when they are misunderstood.
The media is not homogenous, holding on to the false theory that the media is an enemy of government can only blunt your ability to build lasting relations with the media.
…return their calls.
…send them updates.
…keep your word if u promised them a scoop.
…don’t over befriend journalists
On facts and figures about media diversity
What are the statics of media opportunity in South Africa?
…at least twenty daily newspapers
…at least ten weekly newspapers
…at least a hundred community radio stations
…at least five community television stations
…at least five television stations
…at least twenty five commercial radio stations.
Your plan must choose which of these platforms will best reach your Audience.
You must avoid a spray gun approach to media relations where the same media statement or think pieces are sent to all media regardless of target audience.
On opinion pieces
don’t send unsolicited pieces to the editor.
Persuade an editor of your piece and angle this way you are likely to be published.
Don’t exceed the word count of the piece once granted, this avoids you being edited where you would rather be published.
A long an unwieldy piece will get the editors chop and may end up being thrown out.
Align your pieces with current affairs.
A piece on arrive alive in June when the whole country is talking about the youth is likely to go to the dustbin.
On media statements
A media statement must have the following crisp elements
An introduction that sums up the story briefly to invite the reader to read on.
A body that gives more details ensuring that it captures the essence of the story
A conclusion that gives the punch line of why you are communicating.
A one paged statement at most.
If required to make work easy for journalists, attach a fact sheet that will assist to give more context background and facts. This must also be brief and to the point.
On media conferences
Media conferences must ideally be reserved for major announcements.
They must never be a replacement for hard media relations work where information about the programs of your organization are communicated
Media conferences must be brief and to the point. Information must be packaged well
A time limit must be set at the outset.
A question and Answer session must be conducted to avoid a dialogue between the main presenter and journalist.
The communicator must ensure that everyone is accredited to be presented and introduces themselves before asking questions.
Preferably a set of questions must be taken this is for the sake of good order
…and to ensure that the presenters have time to jot down the questions and prepare a proper response.