Last week First Class Communication was in Eureka Springs for another great Arkansas Rural Education Association Summer Conference. Bill Abernathy does a fantastic job running the event, and it's always great to be around people -- both school personnel and many of the vendors -- who are working to improve education for Arkansas children.
While there, we presented two sessions to the group, one being, "Dealing with the Media in Good Times and Bad." (This links to our Prezi presentation; you'll need to give it a few seconds to load.)
The key element we shared is to develop good working relationships with the reporters, editors and even bloggers in your community. Instead of treating them like the enemy, a pest or just another outside influence you have to deal with, understand their personalities, working situations and the kinds of stories that spark their interest.
Doing so will give you a stronger ability to share good news about your school district as well as ease those times of crisis when you must answer difficult questions under stress.
We also shared tips for preparing for the interview, sticking to your main message and appearing your best while being interviewed for television news.
But, as we said, the most important thing you can do is build those relationships.