|* What you want reported
is mere hearsay or you don't have concrete facts. Never be instrumental
in spreading rumours. Reporting is serious business and spreading gossip
is not its mainstay.
* The media is caught up in a media
blitz--political turmoil, war, a deluge, natural calamities, and so on.
When there is breaking news in progress, everyday stories become
unimportant and irrelevant. So, pause a moment and desist.
* You have a "media release" but aren't sure when all the plans will
fall into place. Never take the last step unless you have accurate,
concise, and clear information.
* You don't have adequate time for an in depth interview. Give your
self enough time to prepare and enough time for the reporter to
interview you--to be complete and rounded, any interview allow for the
facts to be grasped and the picture drawn clearly.
* The news you have is not ethical but sensational news. Remember,
you must pay to a person's right to privacy, confidentiality, and
protection from harm and retribution. This is especially true where
children are concerned.
* The laws of a nation or intellectual property rights protect the
news you want published.
* The relevance of the story is limited to a small circle or
* The story is of a personal nature that isn't important to the
public at large.
* The "facts" of your story can't be proven -- a story you just have
a gist of is not newsworthy.
* Never submit inappropriate material to the media /reporters--you
will develop a negative reputation and your material will be thrown away
as soon as a reporter receives it. You need to establish yourself as a
person that can be trusted to give accurate, concise, and newsworthy
* Your thoughts aren't sorted out --- the who, what, where, when,
why, and how of the story you wish to report is unknown or hazy.
* Your media release isn't final--if you send one on Monday and
another with changes/corrections on Tuesday, your credibility will be
* The long term/short term publicity goals aren't in place.
* Press materials aren't fully developed. The press release, media
kit, and other promotional materials must all be finalized and ready for
distribution well before a reporter is contacted.
* You are uncomfortable talking about or discussing a particular
topic---it's better to say nothing than say something you'll regret
later. Once you've spoken to the media/reporter, it will be hard to
retract what you have said.
* You don't want to be "quoted." Unless you have a really good tip,
or information, reporters don't like to go off the record.
* You're not familiar with the background of a "story" or the
sequence of events--personal opinions are not news.
* The story you want told doesn't have an "angle"; it's not newsy;
has no human interest aspect -most people won't be able to relate to the
story; if it's not relevant to current happenings; it does little to add
depth/impact to a popular story the media is focussing on.
Rethink--is my story NEW, it is concise and clear, short, sharp, and
simple, is it accurate--will it stand scrutiny? If you can answer "yes"
to most of these questions then go right ahead and contact a reporter.