Media training at the Attorney General’s Office went well today. Great group with thoughtful questions and lots of interaction!
1) Be prepared. Recognize when you have a hot case and know what you’ll say if asked about. Write your three key points and stick to them.
2) Know your role. Media relations at the Attorney General’s Office presents some unique challenges. Our attorneys are allowed and expected to discuss legal issues but it’s easy to blur the lines between speaking about your client’s case and speaking on behalf of your client. Our public affairs team can help by working with the public affairs staff for the client and determine who will speak about which issues.
3) Be creative. Sometimes you can’t answer reporters’ questions due to attorney-client privilege or special rules governing communication during litigation, but you may be able to say more than you think. We can always discuss legal timelines, the law itself or information that has already been filed in court.
4) Lean on your public affairs staff. If you’re worried you’ll say too much about your case, you can always work with our public affairs team to determine what questions might be asked and how you’ll answer them. Worst case scenario, you can tell us what can be said about the case, and we’ll handle the media calls. In fact, if you’re expecting a lot of calls during an important case, public affairs can handle all of them.
5) Be accountable. Don’t forget to let us know when you’ve spoken to the press. Every staffer at the AG’s office who speaks to the media is required to alert top leadership and public affairs so we’re aware of the hot stories and prepared to answer questions ourselves.
What are your favorite media relations tips?