PR Pro Perspectives – Francis Doherty of the Peter McVerry Trust
MediaHQ’s latest blog series features Q&As with PR pros. Francis Doherty of the Peter McVerry Trust gives an insight into the world of communications.
It might seem crazy turning down a media interview, but there are times when it makes sense to say no to a live mic.
Most of the time a press interview will only improve your company’s reputation. Even in times of crisis, it’s better to brief your spokespeople and approach the media.
Here are the rare occasions when it’s smarter to turn down that press interview:
If an emergency has occurred and the next of kin hasn’t been notified, you probably shouldn’t use the media to announce details of a severely injured or deceased employee.
Don’t confirm any information until you have contacted their family. If the media is going to run the story anyway, notify the family.
The same goes for if your company is about to lay off dozens of employees. The media is not the best place to tell people they might lose their jobs.
Employees should be notified before information is made public or else you could potentially create a PR crisis.
If you have arranged an exclusive interview with one media outlet, don’t schedule one with another journalist.
You want to build a rapport with your press contacts so they have to trust that you won’t share the story anywhere else.
This is always a tricky one. If your company is embroiled in a legal dispute, your lawyer will likely advise that you avoid all communications.
You don’t want to commit contempt of court or land yourself in further trouble, so maybe issue a general press release to say that your company is confident your side will win.
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Conor – @conormcmahon
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