Manage the Message With a Media Protocol
When a reporter calls your business or agency what happens? Does the administrative assistant start answering questions, and not necessarily accurately? Is the reporter forced into a generic voice mail box that may not be checked for a day? Or does the volunteer answering the phone take a message while saying, "I'm not sure who you should talk to."
Don't Miss an Opportunity
To ensure that your organization maximizes its publicity opportunities, it's important to have a policy for what to do when someone from the media calls. Your credibility is on the line if information emanating from
your business is inconsistent or inaccurate.
The first step is to designate a spokesperson, or someone responsible for media relations. Then make sure everyone in the organization who answers the phone knows who that person is. In many smaller organizations, the media rep is the executive director, manager, or business owner.
Volunteers and Board Members
If you have numerous volunteers who take shifts at the front desk, post a sign by the phone explaining how to direct media calls. Also, make sure your board members know the policy, so if any of them get a media call, they know to whom to refer the reporter. Require that board members not respond to media questions about your agency without first clearing it with the media rep.
In situations where you may have a special activity underway, such as a capital campaign or special event, the individual in charge of that activity could be designated as the spokesperson for it.
The goal is to insure that information published or broadcast about your organization reflects what you want the community to know.
In future issues of "PR Tip of the Month," I'll discuss the importance of having a communications plan.
Welcome to Cuclis Communication's First Issue of PR Tip of the Month.