Managing the media
This course is designed for Shift Leaders, to provide guidance on how to manage the media if they contact us for a statement or interview, as well as some training on how to formulate an appropriate statement in different situations.
AREC Media contact policy
Media Contact Form
If you receive an enquiry from the media, you need to fill out the Media Contact Form. This will not only allow us to gather any information about the media source and the reason for the call, but also give us time to consider how we want to respond.
If the media representative wants an urgent response, and will not accept waiting until business hours, you will need to formulate a response. See the Media Holding Statements in the next section for examples of responses to certain scenarios we might encounter in our workplace.
What to do if you need to provide an urgent response
If a journalist is insistent that they need a response prior to the next business day, as the Shift Leader it is your responsibility to prepare this statement.
Some examples of Media Holding Statements are listed below. These statements contain information about who were are, what we do, and provide a positive, general answer to different scenarios. Always put your statements in writing, so that you don't stumble on your words or forget what you want to say. Try to stay broad and don't get drawn in to providing details about the case. Always remember your responsibilities relating to client confidentiality but also try to address the journalist's questions rather than providing them with "no comment".
Example response - Cost of treatment
If you are further questioned by the media, try to stick to the general responses you have already provided rather than going into further detail eg: If you are repeatedly asked why the cost of treatment was so expensive, you can repeat the fact that at AREC we provide "around the clock emergency care".
Example response - Death of pet
Once again, modify this statement to fit the specific situation. These phrases are very general and can be switched around and and changed to form an appropriate response. As with the previous example, try not be drawn into providing detail about a specific situation.
Example response - family conflict and decision-making
Once again try to use general statements that answer the question but do not give too much detail. The key phrases in the above statement can be modified and used as needed in situations where there has been conflict over a euthanasia decision and potential communication issues.
What should you do first if you receive a request from the media for a statement?
- Ring a manager for advice
- Fill out a Media Contact Form
- Provide a statement, using the Media Holding Statements as examples of key messages
- Ask the media to ring back during office hours
What should you do if a journalist continues to pursue a certain difficult line of questioning?
- Be completely open about the case and provide as much positive detail as possible
- Advise the journalist that you are not happy to provide any further comment
- Try reiterating certain positive key sentences that you have already provided and don't get drawn into detail
- Advise the journalist that a manager will provide them with more detail during office hours