The Media Request

THE ASSIGNMENTThe beat reporter covering our industry for one of the leading international business magazines has approached us to do a major profile of the company. Assess the request and make a recommendation.

THE RESPONSEProvide a dispassionate analysis of the probable story line, the company’s stake in that story and its ability to manage the media contact for satisfactory final coverage.

  • Review past industry coverage by the magazine –and its key competitor media
  • Identify the reporter (or reporters) assigned to the story and evaluate past reporting
  • Contact others who have dealt with the publication and assigned reporters for assessment of their experience
  • Contact reporter (and if necessary, editor) for preliminary discussion of:
    • reasons behind the proposal
    • areas of interest
    • interview wish list
    • proposed time frame for story prep, publication
    • basic ground rules
  • Conduct critical assessment of potential unstated objectives, possible hidden ‘agendas’, likely areas of difficulty or controversy, critics or rivals likely to be involved in the story
  • Identify potential benefits or opportunities for the company from the coverage
  • Assess company media skills and capabilities
  • Identify required tools
    • Management roles and required time commitment
    • Defensible positions, points of view
    • Reasoned counter-arguments to likely points of controversy or conflict
    • Background materials for reporter education, preparation
  • Identify likely time and resource commitment, reasonable metrics of success
  • Assess risk-reward balance for participation and non-participation in the story
  • Provide response options and final recommendation
    • Go or no-go
    • Proposed management roles
    • Ground rules
    • Required preparation:
      Material development – management briefing books, and media background information, media training, coaching, “Expectation management” for employees, customers, Development of potential ‘allies’