Top Tips for Engaging with the Media
If you find yourself in a challenging situation that could compromise your professional integrity, it is important to know what to do if you are approached by a member of the media.
These simple tips are intended to assist you to manage any initial contact that a journalist might make directly with you or your practice.
Following any initial contact please contact Medisec if you do not wish to respond directly to the journalist and together with Edelman, our public relations partner, we can advise you appropriately. We would advise that you always make contact with Medisec if a media query relates to litigation or an ongoing investigation.
- Always avoid responding immediately to a media query as you may be caught off guard without the time to formulate an appropriate response.
- Your receptionists should be advised to adhere to the following procedure should a journalist call your practice. The journalist should be asked to submit the following details by email and advised that they will be called back:
- Publication/programme name;
- A list of questions;
- Their deadline;
- Their contact details.
- If a journalist gets through to you directly by telephone do not speak off the cuff. Do not respond to questions and ask them to submit the details listed in ‘a’ to ‘d’ above.
- If you are approached in person by a member of the media, stay calm and don’t challenge.
- Avoid saying ‘no comment’ – it is defensive. Explain that you will consider all queries but insist that they are forwarded to you in writing to allow you have appropriate time to consider them.
- Inform your staff or clinic management team if you are contacted so they can be prepared should the journalist try to speak with another member of your team.
- If you are approached by a photographer or film crew maintain your professional composure – do not be aggressive or rude, react angrily or cover your face. Smiling may also convey an inappropriate image.
- If a camera crew of photographer arrives at your practice advise your patients and warn the crew or photographer that patients cannot be identifiable in any film footage or photography.
- Always assume that anything you say to a journalist can be published.
- If you are approached through social media platforms, or if someone posts a negative or defamatory comment about you or your practice on a social media platform, do not respond immediately. Take a screen shot of what was posted and contact Medisec.
Edelman Ireland provides media and crisis management advice to Medisec.