5 Rules to Live By When Dealing with the Media

This edition of Mentor Online is borrowed from material by Gwen Moran, printed in Entrepreneur Magazine, 2005.

While there’s plenty of useless conventional wisdom about dealing with the media, there are also some rules you should never break:

1. Respond promptly. “Remember that these people are usually on tight deadlines,” says Barbara Laskin, president of Laskin Media Inc., a New York City media training firm. Even if you’re unable to do the interview, say so in a timely manner.

2. Never say “no comment.” If you cannot answer a question, provide a reasonable explanation instead, says David Margulies, founder of Margulies Communications Group, a strategic PR and crisis communications firm in Dallas.

3. Never lie or speculate. “Aside from the fact that lying is wrong and unethical, it will come back to haunt you,” says Karen Friedman, founder of Karen Friedman Enterprises Inc., a media training firm in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. It’s always better to tell the truth and explain why you did what you did, even if your explanation is shaky.

4. Know the medium’s audience. Every media outlet is different, says Margulies. “Every audience wants you to address WIIFM-what’s in it for me.”

5. Stick to what you know. Do not try to be an expert or comment on an issue about which you are not fully informed, says Margulies.

Published by

Retired Lutheran (ELCA) clergyperson. Founder & owner of Brookover Leadership Development & Consulting, Inc. (1967)

Posted on

2 thoughts on “5 Rules to Live By When Dealing with the Media”

  1. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i got here to go back
    thefavor?.I am trying to
    in finding issues to
    improve my site!I suppose its ok to make
    use of some of your concepts!!

    1. Using my posts is a bit of a problem. I wrote most of them and those I DID NOT develop I gave credit to the original authors.

      So my request is that if you decide to use any of my posts you must ask my permission. If I cannot grant permission is will be because I was granted the approval from someone who would need to be contacted.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.