Build a Relationship With the Media Before You Need One
Investing time and generosity with the media to build a healthy relationship before you want or need the attention, trust and benefit of the doubt with reporters or columnists is an idea to think about and pursue. Your future self could very well thank you.
Introduce yourself briefly to media professionals and make it clear with (unspoken) unselfish motives that you are accessible as a source for your knowledge, expertise and insights, while providing your contact information. Back up this offer by being promptly and pleasantly responsive and of value in the media’s mind if contacted. Be giving with no expectations.
In the event of a possible dispute or crisis in the future involving yourself, maybe you will have earned goodwill where the media will contact you with more curiosity than initial, reactionary, critical judgment.
A small benefit of the doubt, even if it can only be temporary when problems arise, could prove to be invaluable. Not all media professionals are the same level of patient and ethical (same as in any profession) yet you can increase the odds of less bias being initially present.
Some might feel and express that this is manipulation yet it is only unsavory if the intent is selfish. If the emotional driver is sincere generosity, then the process is relationship-building psychology.
Michael Toebe is a specialist who helps individuals and organizations with further building, protecting, restoring or reconstructing reputations. He is the founder of Reputation-Quality.com, Reputation-Interviews.com, RQCalls.com and QSR-Guide.com and author of “Your Reputation Signature,” available on Amazon.