Media training is not just about helping you prepare for a media interview. It can involve other aspects of the media encounter, such as preparation of media releases. In today’s Age there is a little item that says:
“When pitching story ideas, it could be worthwhile to check if the event being spruiked in a media release is still occurring and if the date of the milestone being marked has already occurred. Just a suggestion.”
Obviously the journalist involved, Suzanne Carbone, had received such a bad media release. I always tell my media training workshop participants to ensure you have the correct contact details and, if you’re writing the release during the week for a weekend event, make sure you have after hours contact details so the journalist can reach you if they need to.
I was working on the Channel 7 newsdesk in Melbourne a couple of years ago when a PR lady called to thank us for running a story on her new health breakthrough. When I told her the international speaker we filmed had the words from the projector over his face most of the time her response was: “I wasn’t expecting television.” I told her that if you send out a media release to the media, expect all forms of it to turn up, then you’re covered.
By the way, it is media release, not press release as it covers all arms of the media – press, radio, television and internet.