Saturday, October 14, 2006

Catering to the media

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks discussed catering to the media in one of his latest posts.
A funny thing happened at media day for the Mavs this year. The players were excited as could be. Most of the media was fired up about the Mavs getting back on the court. But there was a segment of the media that wasn't quite as excited as the rest.
The print media guys there looked like they were worn out. Anyone who follows the business of media knows there are changes a plenty happening at Newspapers across the country. Our local paper, The Dallas Morning News offered early retirement packages across the board and the sports department had some takers. That's probably good for them, but what about the rest of the news staff and the topics they cover?
Of course the news, sports or otherwise, knows no boundaries. There may be fewer people in the newsroom but the same number of games, events and what have yous are still being played and presented. The guys who work in print who cover the Mavs didnt say so, and this may be my prejudices coming through, but the look on the faces of several from the Morning News seemed to reflect that trying to cover the Mavs along with their other responsibilities was going to make things difficult on them.
Cuban suggests he'll need to work harder to make it easier for the media to cover his team. I think that's a key for anyone in any organization. Offer the media as much information as possible. I know some news purists will complain about that but if you're in charge of publicity for your group, organization, business, church or whatever, take Cuban's advice and make it as easy as possible for a reporter to get the story.
Im the first to admit that I pushed, prodded and made every attempt to game the media to try to present the Mavs and our players in the best possible light. I am the protector of the Mavs brand, and the person responsible for making sure our fans and customers get what they need to stay fans and customers. This year, for the first time, Im going to have to make adjustments in how i deal with local (emphasis on local) media members. Particularly from the local newspapers.
As a member fo the MSM, I say make your brand as available to the public and media as possible. That may mean a blog or a news release every day, but be sure the media knows what's going on.
There's a million stories in the naked city everynight and with decreasing numbers of reporters and writers around the country there's a high chance your story won't be noticed unless you give it to the local media.
I can't tell you how many times someone has called and complained that we didn't cover the event and we never knew a thing about it until that first contact and complaint.
The media can't be everywhere, so it's in your best interest to be sure they know what's going on in your world every chance you get.

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