Mandy Collins & Associates

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How to work with a journalist

If a journalist is writing a news story about your company, don’t even bother to ask to see it. If they’re doing a feature, however – a profile on one of your people, for example – they might be kind enough to let you see it before it goes to production.

Here’s how to behave.

  1. Remember that this is a courtesy. The journalist doesn’t have to do this. Respond accordingly.
  2. Adhere to the deadline they’ve given you to submit any change requests. The media runs on deadlines, and those deadlines are seldom movable. Miss it, and the story might be dumped.
  3. Fact check only – by all means correct any factual errors or misquotes, but leave the journalist’s writing alone.
  4. Resist the urge to insert your key messaging phrases. They always come across as if the person being interviewed is a robot (aka frankenquotes) and they don’t belong in editorial. Keep them for your marketing material or paid advertorials, where you have free rein to spew meaningless corporate drivel. (Whoops! Did I say that out loud?)
  5. Ensure every executive at the top level of your organisation has had proper media training. This will cut down on the likelihood of them saying things that get the company into trouble if they are asked for an interview.

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