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Fort Bend County
Office of Emergency Management


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Media Tips for Elected Officials

Quick and to the point reminders about dealing with the media

Posted February 6, 2009 12:52:28 PM CST

DOS

  • Do call the public information officer (PIO).
  • Do prepare for an interview.
  • Do keep answers short and simple.
  • Do focus on two to three talking points.
  • Do tell the truth.
  • Do listen to the reporter's questions.
  • Do pause . . . think before you answer.
  • Do say I don't know when you don't know. Then say you'll find out.
  • Do check your appearance.
  • Do pay attention to news deadlines.

DON'TS

  • Don't lie EVER!
  • Don't go off the record. There is no such thing as off the record!
  • Don't say no comment. Say something! For example, I can't comment on a pending lawsuit.
  • Don't say anything you wouldn't want on the evening news or page one of the newspaper.
  • Don't speculate, offer personal opinions, or speak beyond your expertise.
  • Don't use jargon.
  • Don't play favorites.
  • Don't ignore media calls.
  • Don't become angry or provoke reporters.
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