Tuesday, November 18, 2008


The folks over at Bottom Line Communications first posted this gem a few years ago, and it bears repeating. As a former editor and reporter, I can tell you these "tips" are spot-on. My personal favorites are in bold.--Editor


A few years ago, we developed a tongue-in-cheek list of "16 Sure-Fire Ways to Impress the Media" based on feedback from media folks. Little did we know these tips would be reprinted in hundreds of publications and in the book "The Brand Management Checklist."

Here they are:

* Demand that reporters run your entire news release "as is" with no editing, including your pithy headline.

* Tell reporters that you have an "exclusive" story for them only. Then send it to all the other media outlets to also give them "exclusives."

* Let reporters know your story would make a good cover story. Unlike you, sometimes they just don't realize the importance of it.

* In an interview use the words "No Comment" as often as possible because reporters appreciate not having to write down so much stuff.

* Always demand to review the story ahead of time. That way you can make sure it comes out correctly.

* If you say something you wish you hadn't, quickly follow-up by saying "That was off-the-record." Don't bother to let them know when you are "on-the-record" again. Keep them guessing.

* Let the reporter know upfront that you consider all media people a bunch of liberal, pot-smoking bleeding hearts, but that you are graciously willing to let him/her a chance to handle your story. They will appreciate your honesty.

* Let reporters know you are well-connected to the editor/publisher/station manager. Tell them you hope you won't have to go over their heads!!

* Pretend you genuinely care about reporters' deadlines. Then ignore them.

* Constantly tell reporters that all information is "proprietary." This will eliminate a lot of needless facts in your story.

* Make sure to tell reporters you never read their newspaper or watch/listen to their station because they always get things wrong. Again, they appreciate honesty.

* After the interview is over make sure you contact the reporter hourly to determine the status of the story. Call more often if you really think the story is a good one.

* When the story runs, call the reporter and tell him/her to send you a copy/tape. They consider it part of their job to respond to your needs.

* Always let reporters know your company is a big advertiser and helps pay their salary. This is a great way to impress them and guarantee a great story.

* If you say something stupid, or if the story is negative, always claim you were misquoted or that they edited out your real remarks. Demand a retraction!!

* If a reporter does a good job and writes a great story, don't bother to thank him/her. That's why they make the big bucks. It's enough of a reward for them to have worked with a real media professional.

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