Real Point is no stranger to appearing in the press or on the TV news, but we have, until yesterday, found the coverage to be even. Both ourselves and the press have benfited from the experience, with Sky news especially good about making sure that we as a business benefited rather than suffered from the experience.
Yesterday’s experience with a news report on another station was slightly different. They asked if we could comment on how a small business is being affected by the swine flu epidemic. Not a problem. The interviewer had one clear focus with his questioning – were we struggling or panicking about the issue? I was consistent with my answering, no, we had a clear policy in place and had made worst case scenario plans which would ensure that we continued to give excellent service and deliver all our clients needs.
The piece that came out on the 6:30 national news, however, described us as a struggling company. Using one portion of one of my answers, where I commented how valuable each and everyone of my employees were and therefore anyone absent would be missed, the impression created was that we were struggling to cope, a very different picture from the reality.
So a warning there for us all, make sure you check the editorial slant that any piece is going to have before it goes out, and if you are seriously concerned, either don’t do the piece or ask for the right to check before it goes on air or to press. Also, think through everything you are going to say and see whether there is any way it could be edited negatively.