Inside the Media
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To order Winning with the News Media:
Below are excerpts from the chapter:
Ten Commandments of News Media Relations
Winning with the News Media
Copyright © 2005, 2001, 1999, 1996
By Clarence Jones
Ten CommandmentsBasic Techniques for
Better Media Relations
Unless youíve been caught in the crossfire of a pitched media battle, you will have a hard time understanding what itís like. It may be the most difficult experience of your life. The combat scenes from Apocalypse Now and Saving Private Ryan will give you some idea of what to expect. In the Apocalypse Now attack on a Vietnamese village, the air is thick with choppers. They swarm like dragonflies. Napalm is exploding. There is gunfire from all directions.
In the Normandy Invasion scenes in Private Ryan, everything is noise and total confusion. It is virtually impossible to keep focus and perspective. You know the incoming fire can suddenly target you. Death and disfigurement are whistling by, very close. People around you ó people you know well ó are being torn apart.
An All-Out Media Attack
That's what it feels like when you become the center of a national or international story. The invasion force is hundreds of reporters and photographers. They come in, from all over the world, in helicopters and Learjets, armed with tons of exotic, space-age equipment. They surround your office, your home, your church. They camp there, round-the-clock.
Think back to a recent major story. How many interviews took place in somebody's driveway? It happens because the target cannot move without running the gauntlet of microphones and cameras. You may be followed everywhere you go for weeks at a time. You will be a captive. Your life, your career, the stability of your home and family will suddenly seem to be at great risk.
Fight or Flee Syndrome
Thatís the worst-case scenario. But the Fight or Flee Syndrome will also seize you when a reporter shows up, unannounced, and begins to ask questions. If it is a television crew, stage fright will be added to the stress.
To help you cope, I developed the Ten Commandments of Media Relations. Some of them are just basic common sense. But your fear of the media often leads you to do strange things. The commandments should also help you develop some regular routines and policy for coping with reporters, editors and photographers on an everyday basis.
The Ten Commandments
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