If your job includes interacting with the media, you owe it to yourself, your company and the reporters whose job it is to cover your industry to take a long-term view of media relations.
While it may be their job to cover your industry and your business, journalists will cover it for their readers’ sake, meaning it’s not about giving Global Robust Solutions, Inc., Best Manufacturing, Co. or Dandy Donuts publicity or what some marketers like to call “free advertising.” This means that as your company’s representative, whether you are the CEO, project engineer or communications officer, you need to be prepared to withstand scrutiny, and not only from a product perspective.
Today, journalists are more skeptical than ever in the wake of the AIG and Wall Street woes. Add that experience to corporate accounting and CEO scandals such as the not-too-distant Enron and Tyco examples, and you have a challenge. What’s more, factor in downsizing and the fact that reporters are wearing multiple hats these days often responsible for print or broadcast coverage as well as online posts.
You must be able to articulate your company’s business plan and role as corporate citizen as well as your product benefits. Successful institutions know that goal setting, brand authenticity and a track record of trust are paramount. …Journalists know this, too.