Mind Your Manners
As a former Broadcast Journalist and part-time PIO, I have
experienced all sides of the relationship between reporter
and newsmaker. One thing that continues to amaze me is the
occasional reporter in search of a scoop who thinks it's perfectly
okay to walk all over the Information Officer.
When you're out on the street everyday dealing with Media
Relations Professionals, remember that we're in contact everyday
with Journalists just like yourself. We're the first people
to find out who's leaving for greener pastures, who's getting
promoted, and who's leaving the business. We're also the ones
most likely to pass that kind of information on to people
we like, and pass over those who have treated us badly. So
if you're ever wondering why you can't get promoted, or find
that next step on the career ladder, perhaps its time to do
a reality check on how well you treat everyone you work with,
whether it's in your newsroom, or out in the field.
1. Do you call ahead for interviews or just show up expecting
to be handled immediately?
2. Do you thank the Information Officer for their time?
3. Do you ask for additional information to be released in
advance of a scheduled press conference so you can scoop everyone
4. Are your stories accurate?
5. Are you tolerant of your co-workers when things don't go
Getting the exclusive story is a quite an achievement, however,
if you're not treating others with respect in the process,
your career can still hit the skids. Remember, News Managers
want to hire people who get along well with others, or they'll
have a major problem on their hands that they can't easily
get rid of. Also, television news is considered an incestuous
I still run into people, who know former co-workers from previous
jobs. The longer you're in the business, the longer the list
gets. Kindness is remember much longer than an exclusive story.
Protect your career and keep in mind that everyone you meet
or work with may help you get your next gig or keep you where