What’s your media policy? (or should that be “where’s your media policy?”)

6 December 2014

  • Insurance policy – check
  • Privacy policy – check
  • Anti-bullying policy – check
  • Risk assessment policy – check
  • Disaster management policy – check
  • Media policy – um…?

Every operating business should have a media policy that everyone working for that business knows about… just in case.

Like other policies, a media policy sets out how your business will behave in a given scenario, in this instance in response to media interest, in line with your available resources, reputation and business practices.

Unlike some policies, however, your media policy is on call 24/7.

Media interest might be an everyday occurrence, a sometimes disruption, or a rare and unwelcome intrusion.

There are all kinds of reasons why a business, regardless of its size, could find itself the subject of unplanned media scrutiny: a fire, industrial espionage, discovery of dinosaur bones in the car park, using a new and/or controversial technique, complaints from nearby residents, and so on.

Even proactive media liaison – seeking attention from journalists to report favourably on your latest product launch, new appointments, forthcoming event – should be guided by a clear policy and underlying strategy.

At the very least, a media policy should articulate this essential information:

  • Name and/or position of the official spokesperson – the staff or board member(s) authorised to release information and quote/be quoted in media statements and interviews (preferably someone with some media training)
  • Name and/or position of the person to liaise with the media in the first instance (it might be the same person or role as above)
  • Name and/or position of the person who will supervise the media’s presence on your premises
  • Where the media will be allowed access to the premises (if at all) and your spokesperson
  • The circumstances under which, or in response to which, the media policy would be enacted

Can your media policy stand alone, ready to help you, or is media liaison relegated to a paragraph or two at the back of your risk assessment or disaster management policies?

Presence Communications can help you develop a media policy that mitigates reputational risk appropriately for your business. We can also help you manage media interest and prepare your teams to handle it, whether your news is good or bad.

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