Two items reminded us of the value of proactively engaging with the media.
Item 1: In a recent NY Times profile, General Motors CEO Dan Akerson said: “I’d been in private equity for eight years, and my attitude was I don’t talk to the press if I don’t want to. I was very much bothered by what was written. But if you don’t talk to them, they’ll define you.” Ergo, the story in the Times included a good deal of Akerson’s comments and it was a very positive piece.
Item 2: In the discussion of the 2011 Edelman Trust Barometer, CEO Richard Edelman advocated the need to communicate in four different channels: traditional media, new media, social media and paid.
Absent the few well known situations – ongoing lockdown communications in a crisis, sensitive financial and labor negotiations, gag orders – CommCore is a strong believer in media engagement. Each of the channels has its rules and place. At the very least media engagement lends itself to more balanced coverage; in the right situations proactive interactions with the media can lead to you framing the issue for the reporter/blogger and the audience.
Rules we apply:
1. Do your homework on the reporter and the outlet
2. Develop messages that are sticky
3. Know the counter arguments to your messages
4. Provide multi-media support for your messages
5. Build relationships with individual reporters
Do you have any new secrets about when and how to engage?