Don’t Fear the Press

I often see very puzzling behavior from some entrepreneurs when it comes to dealing with the press and media.

Either they are desperate for it and would kill to get a press write up, or they vilify the press and hate them for whatever happened.

As far as I am concerned, there are two ways to behave towards the press:
1) Treat them with respect and make sure you are open, real, and fair.
2) Shut up and let them know you’re not ready to talk about it.

Maybe having been to journalism school helps me see this from both sides, but journalists and bloggers are people. The are not gotcha artists, they are not out to get you and dig up dirt (the reputable ones, anyway), and they have a job that you can either make easy or difficult.

They are also not an ATM. If you only approach reporters when you need something from them, it’s not going to work well.

There are some exceptions to this, as there are plenty of publications who live on sensationalism and pageviews, but for the vast majority, journalists are honest people, in a hurry, overworked and under-resourced, looking to do good and tell interesting stories because they are passionate about it.

They’re also great bullshit detectors.

So the next time you come across a journalist working on a story, be real. Don’t lie. Be helpful. Not because you want something from them, but because you realize they do amazing public good.

When you do this, you’ll be surprised that they take an interest in you or your work.

We’re all people, after all.


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