|This is one way to accommodate a media request...|
The other technique that the reporters will employ was taught to me by my good friend and mentor Bill Wade. The reporters - if pressed by their deadlines - will simply seek out Triple A.
|Not THAT kind of Triple A|
No, the Triple A that Bill mentioned stands for something that should strike terror into the heart of any seasoned PIO -
- A ... authority. Yeah, that's right. Bill had a more colorful term for this A, but I'll use the one I teach about when I instruct.
What this means is that the reporters are going to look for someone who will be eager to speak with the reporters - and, believe me, there will be TONS of people who will be willing to do that. Disgruntled former or current employees? Yup. Ten-minute experts? You betcha. Maybe just some interesting people who are just looking to get their big break to be on the nightly news. Folks like these (Needless to say, some of the language is a little salty. Like cured, dried country ham kind of salty. Listen with earbuds in. Seriously) :
Now, as uncomfortable as you might be in front of the camera, who would you rather have telling your organization's side of the story? You or someone familiar with your organization's roles and responsibilities, or the luck of the draw? If it was me, I'd much prefer to be out in front of something like this than totally blindsided when I turned on the evening news - and called on my boss's carpet the next morning.
So, while it may be tempting to circle the wagons, retreat and hope the story goes away, fight the urge and get out in front of the issue. Trust me, it will be a whole lot more comfortable.
Tom Iovino, Public Relations Strategist
Hillsborough County, Florida