Dealing with the press

Reporters and journalists are always working to a deadline. If they have contacted you, their deadline is now.

If you are trying to get them to carry a story they will have their deadline for getting the editorial approved by; usually about lunch time for that evening or next day publication. If your story isn’t specifically time-bound, then give them a clue as to when would be the best time to run it.

A journalist will always have an agenda if they are contacting you. They want the gossip, they want something that will sell.Be clear on the message you want to make, take notes with you if that helps keep you on track. Try not to get drawn into giving personal opinion, stick to the facts.

Tie-ins, as mentioned in Part 5, are easy as you are jumping on the bandwagon of another event just adding your little different element to it, but this is your chance to say a bit more. Rather than just say, “Yes we’ll be ringing to mark the anniversary of xyz”, include a bit about how bell ringing is symbolic of celebrating anniversaries and commemorative events or something similar.

When someone runs your article or writes about you in the press (in a positive way) or covers your message on the television, always follow it with a thank you email to keep them on side. You may well then become their go-to person for bell ringing related news. You now have a contact that you can go to again. Make sure you’ve added their details to your contacts list.


Vicki Chapman, CCCBR PRO