Wednesday, January 23, 2013

10 things to do when a journalist phones

When a journalist knocks on your door looking for a comment, it is tempting to simply answer their questions. But you need to be much more organised if you want to build and protect your brand and reputation.
Here is our list of 10 must do actions to take when a journalist asks you for a comment:

1.      Ask what they want: Don’t assume you know what they want to talk to you about.

2.      Ask what they already know: What information do they already have? Do they have a concrete basis for the story already or are they on a fishing expedition?

3.      Ask who else they have spoken to: Knowing this can help you figure out what other people may have already said. Have they spoken with someone who is likely to be critical of you or an action you have taken?

4.      Ask what angle they are taking: Okay – many journalists aren’t going to tell you, but it’s worth asking the question anyway.

5.      Ask what their deadline is: You need to know how fast you need to move. Making them miss their deadline is not conducive to building a good working relationship.

6.      Tell them you will call back: That’s right – never do an interview on the spot. You need to do some homework first. While journalists on a tight deadline won’t be happy, they will appreciate the fact that you can talk to them armed with facts.

7.      Do your homework: Gather the facts, Google recent news stories on the topic and prepare yourself for the interview. Look at what is being said on social media, particularly news Facebook pages. Think about questions the journalist might put to you and prepare answers.

8.      Practice with a friend: It doesn’t matter whether it is a work colleague, your partner or a media advisor; it makes sense to have at least five minutes practice before you head into the real interview. Other people will also think of questions that slipped your mind.

9.      Call the journalist back: Even if you decide you are not going to provide any comment on the story, have the courtesy to let the journalist know before their deadline has passed.

10.   Review the result: Make sure you watch the news or read the paper to see the result. Critically review your own performance so you can do better next time.

Tracy Jones started her career as a journalist 30 years ago before moving to public relations. She is principal of Creative Territory and runs the company’s Intensive Media Training for Executives course.

Sherwin Iron reached agreement with Darwin Port

Sherwin Iron Limited and the Darwin Ports Corporation have entered into a non-binding Heads of Agreement to negotiate, develop and enter into formal agreements for the lease and use of land and facilities by Sherwin at Darwin’s East Arm Wharf.

The Board expects that shipments of iron ore from the company’s Roper River tenements can commence in 2013 through the EAW facilities if suitable agreements can be put into place with corporation.

The proposed East Arm Wharf facilities will enable Sherwin to initially export 1 million tonnes of bulk iron ore per year, building up to 3 million tonnes per year. The facilities would be used by Sherwin for up to 20 years.

The formal agreements will provide licences to allow Sherwin to access and use the land at East Arm Wharf to construct the necessary facilities and to stockpile materials.

The Heads of Agreement will terminate by mutual consent upon entering into the formal documents or 31 December 2013, whichever is earlier.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

NTFL Driving Road Safety

Round 14 of the TIO NTFL season has been renamed the “Road Safety Round” to raise awareness amongst high risk drivers of the need to heed road safety advice.

Sponsored by TIO and supported by NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services, St John Ambulance and NT Road Safety, the NTFL Road Safety Day will bring together players, supporters and spectators to consider the issues of road safety.

 AFLNT CEO Tony Frawley said that the AFLNT is very supportive of this initiative and has encouraged all NTFL clubs to actively participate.

“The football community across the Top End have lost numerous members due to road accidents and AFLNT along with NTFL clubs fully support the efforts of TIO who have been long standing supporters of the NTFL for many years.”

Chief Executive Richard Harding said that TIO was dedicated to improving road safety in the Territory.

“Each year we see on average 50 people killed on NT roads and nearly 500 seriously injured requiring hospitalisation,” Mr Harding said.

“Drivers under 25 years are 3 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured, the cost of these young lives, along with the pain and anguish to friends and families, is significant.

“TIO’s sponsorship of the NTFL and in particular the Road Safety Round, is aimed at creating awareness and reinforcing the messages about road safety to a high risk, novice male drivers audience and the wider community.

“TIO asks young drivers to be aware of their choices and know the consequences,” he said.

Tiwi Bombers Captain Shane Tipuamantimirri who works with Indigenous youth at Tiwi College says it is shattering to see the effect of preventable car accident deaths.

“The impact is not only on the victim and his family but also the extended family and community,” he said.

 A high profile Tiwi role model due to his work with youth and football career, the Tiwi Bombers captain said, “I have work colleagues who, along with me, have lost close relations let alone friends and I cannot begin to state the agony and sadness these deaths and injuries bring.”

Shane Tipuamantimirri said the islanders, as in most remote areas, have to negotiate very poor road conditions for most of the year.

 “I can only beg everyone who drives to belt up.”

The NTFL Road Safety Day will target high risk drivers directly through fully integrated education and public awareness activities focussing on the risks of road safety and the choices and consequences all drivers face.

All under 18 teams have been scheduled to play at TIO Stadium on the day and will attend Road Safety Awareness sessions to discuss road safety and hear first hand from the organisations that deal with road trauma and its consequences.

Both teams in the Palmerston Magpies v Tiwi Bombers Premier League Game will wear the “seatbelt” customised Guernseys and the umpires will wear “Seatbelts save lives” shirts for all matches throughout the day.
While seatbelts are a significant causal and compounding factor in road crashes they are not the only factor, the Road Safety day will address the breadth of road safety messages.

A range of spectator Road Safety Awareness activities will be held at half time as well YouTube live streaming of the second premier games, road safety messages on the big screen, Hector the Cat, Emergency vehicle displays and TIO’s drink driving party safe program.
“This will be a big day of football, with a very big message,” TIO CEO Richard Harding said.