By: Mandy Bowling
In Chapter 13, O’Rourke writes about how to deal with the media. The media can either be your enemy or your best friend… it just depends how you deal with it. The entire chapter is a great “advice chapter” on how to handle the media and covers the do’s and don’t’s. Out of all the sections, the area of the chapter that I really could relate t is the “should you or shouldn’t you” section on page 350.
One of the most important rules to remember when it comes time to speaking with the media is NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS. Goes back to what you learned as a child. If you don’t know the person, don’t recognize them but they claim to know you or even if you don’t know what to say… dont’ say anything to them. That can just lead to bad news. Dealing with strangers is a high-risk proposition, especially in the news media.
Working with athletics, I come across seeing people talking with the media and even dealing with the media first hand. It is important to remember that you are ALWAYS on the record. The media is a business…
There are times where reporters from TV or paper are at the games and stick around for interviews for the coaches. I standing near one of our coaches when he was getting interviewed during halftime of a game, and I could tell that he didn’t really want to answer the questions that were being asked and this wasn’t the “normal” reporter that is normally there. There are a few newspapers that come to the games, and the coaches begin to be familiar with who the interviewer is. The coach was smart and didn’t answer all the questions and didn’t really say much. It was smart of the coach because, even know we don’t know really what happened… but we didn’t see that reporter again… I am not saying that he wasn’t a correct employee or what… but the important thing is, that the coach followed the important rule but not talking to someone he didn’t know.
As mentioned before, the media can be your friend or your enemy… it just depends who you say what too….