The 10 commandments for dealing with media

When dealing with the media, preparation is key. This doesn’t just apply when dealing with a crisis, but when dealing with the media in general.

If you can gain a clear understanding of your organisation’s key messages, as well as how to deal with the media circumstances, it becomes much easier to communicate what you need to say without being caught off guard.

Below are the 10 commandments for dealing with the media:

  1. Don’t lie

Never flat out lie. You are not obliged to tell the entire truth, but never tell a lie.

  1. Be on message

Know your message. You only need a handful of core messages – stick to them and always try to frame an argument to represent your businesses position.

  1. Be proactive

It is better to own the message or announcement than to react to it, this way you have control over the story and what parts of it are most important.

  1. Connect with your interviewer

Be engaging and friendly, yet professional. If you get your interviewer onside from the beginning, they are less likely to ask particularly hostile questions.

  1. Never let a lie go unchallenged

If nasty seeds germinate, weeds will grow. Always challenge a lie.

  1. Be prepared

It is impossible to predict all the questions a journalist will ask, but there are techniques for dealing with the unexpected.

  1. Honour thy brand

When you are acting on behalf of your business, your main goal is to make the organisation look good. This comes back to commandment No. 2 and sticking to key messages.

  1. Be discreet

Never make a target out of yourself, your team or your business.

  1. Always guard the fortress

Choose when to engage on which issues. Keep the information flow tight. If media requests comment about a topic which you feel uncomfortable speaking about or does not relate to your business, you are not obliged to provide one.

  1. Know your brief

Be factual and have background. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

If you would like to know more or book a Media Training workshop, please call us on 02 4324 6962 or email

Our two-hour workshops cover interviews, answering and handling difficult questions, including hostile interviewers. We put you in real life scenarios specific to your business and run through situations that may occur. Maximum six people per course.