By Golie Alemi
The Loeb Awards’ new “Media ‘Insiders’ Series” kicked off today with guest Hank Gilman, contributing editor for Money Magazine and former enterprise editor at Reuters, and Loeb's 2011 Minard Editor Award honoree. This installment offered an insider’s perspective into how the media operates, potential legal issues, developing relationships — matters that aren’t necessarily transparent to those operating a business, but matters that certainly arise more often than expected.
Addressing an audience of Anderson students and faculty, Gilman shared insights from his 20+ years of management overseeing editorial development and operations at major media organization. With access to instant content via social media, the news industry has changed, yet Gilman admitted that how media operates has remained the same in many ways.
- When talking to the press, be sure of what you’re saying — don’t make a definitive statement until you know 100 percent of the facts, especially during a crisis. Silence is better than speaking prematurely.
- When you agree to an interview it helps to have an idea of who the reporter is and what he/she does for a living. Do your homework, search for clips.
- Everything looks different once it’s in story form. Act accordingly.
- Establish the rules of engagement: If you don’t want it to appear in print or online or on anyone’s cell phone, don’t say it.
- Reporters are not your friends — they may be friendly, but they’re not your friends.
- Like it or not, you need to spend quality time with people covering your industry. As a source, you are educating reporters as well, so be willing to offer to speak with them again.
- Do your job and make sure the facts are straight, ensure the nuance and context are right. Follow-ups are important.
- Email interviews are not a bad thing. You get to think about your answers a lot more and you can avoid misspeaking.
- Reporters are going to talk with the people who you don’t ask them to talk with.
- Reporters often know what they are going to write about, but they don’t always tell you exactly what that is. Insist on an explanation.
- Be aware of promises from PR firms. The best PR people help you build relationships.
- Know how to deal with a Web crisis. Be sure to get your say in a piece. If a story is going to live forever, so should your response. Respond quickly, be authentic and never get defensive or attack on social media, it will come back to bite you 100 percent of the time.
The Gerald Loeb Awards were established in 1957 by the late Gerald Loeb, a founding partner of E.F. Hutton. Attended by the country’s top business news journalists and authors, this prestigious award program recognizes and honors journalists who have made significant contributions to the understanding of business, finance and the economy.
This year, the Loeb awards dinner and celebration will be held on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 in New York City. Students, faculty and alumni interested in attending the event may contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (310) 825-4478 for more information.