A little introduction
The media industry is changing fast. Digital technology has dramatically reshaped the news and media industries in the past decade. The growth of social networks, the introduction of smartphones and the evolution of online advertising, have contributed to a brand new media landscape that is changing more and more every day. The internet has not only changed the methods and purpose of journalism, but also people's perceptions of news media. Firstly, the rise of bloggers and user-based journalism has become immensely popular among both new and old media companies, a change that has drastically altered the definition of a journalist. Secondly, the linked nature of the internet has given rise to content collectors like Google news or The Huffington Post that no longer rely on individual journalists to provide news, but instead depend on their ability to gather and collect information into a single place where users can access it. Together they are changing society's traditional ideas regarding journalists and news.
What about us?
A lot of people at conventions don't want to talk to the press. But we can't just shut our doors. So that's where our team comes in. As a press and media relations volunteer for EF you represent the work of a huge convention, acting as a contact point for members of the press and other media representatives. We want to provide journalists with accurate information and give them a realistic look at our community. The press isn't good or bad; it's just the press. We just have to make sure they get right picture and the right story. When you are part of the media relations team it is important to remember that you represent a whole community. This means that we got a lot of responsibilities. You need to be prepared for the fact that anything you say to a journalist could end up in print or on a website the following day. The job requires you to be flexible, friendly and patient. Sometimes there's nothing to do, sometimes all journalists arrive at the same time. The job can be stressful so you must be able to work under pressure. The cool thing about working at press relations is that you are also able to show your side of the story. You can influence how the convention looks to the outside world. Also you're part of a great team full of passionate people.
Press and media relations team members are:
If you want to help us, then come to the press & media reception at the convention or write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAQ: How to cooperate with journalists?
How much time do journalists have?
Journalists are busy people. They are not here for fun, they are working. They have one goal in mind and that is to write a good story.
How should I greet the journalists?
First impression is everything. Greet them, talk to them and make them feel welcome. Even if you don't like journalists you should always treat them with respect. They're human beings just like you and me.
Are there rules the journalist must follow?
Yes! Before you show a journalist around make sure they are well informed about what they can and what they can't do. They should always first register at the media desk. Here they can get a media badge and the necessary information.
What if they say something that is not true?
Don't get angry. Even if they ask difficult questions, you should stay positive. It can be really frustrating when reporters give you the feeling they don't take you seriously, or if their information is inaccurate. But getting angry only makes it worse.
But what story should I tell them?
Keep it simple. Most of the time journalists are not interested in all the details you want to tell. Stick to a straight and simple story. There is also a press-release featuring all kinds of background information which journalists can read in their own time if they're interested.
Any tips for when they ask me questions?
Make it personal. When you are guiding a journalist they will ask you a lot of questions. Some of them may be difficult to answer. If this happens and you don't know what to answer just make it personal. Tell your own version of how you see things.
Be polite! Even if they aren't. The best advice is to help journalists as much as possible by giving them (where reasonable) what they ask for. Ensure that your information is relevant to them and provides a good read!
But what if they ask me difficult questions?
Again, just stick to your original plan and keep it to yourself. Don't argue with them because it often makes things worse because most of the time you accidentialy confirm stories you don't want to confirm. In the worst scenario you can always just ignore the question.
Bear in mind, journalists are good at making out they have the entire story already.