Working in an industry that’s always being scrutinized by public and media, my daily prayer as a corporate communications professional is “no news is good news” unless we have new drugs to launch, new clinical data to release and new patient stories to tell.
A cold call from a journalist always makes my day interesting. Reporter’s deadline with his/her newsroom is usually very tight, which means our team has to operate extra fast in order to get the information to reporters in a timely manner. The information ought to be accurate, objective, latest and authoritative.
We do anything we can to ensure the answers provided to reporters will NOT lead to a potential story that jeopardizes or harms our company’s reputation and credibility.
A few scenarios of how we act:
– Interrupt any meeting and pull out anyone you need including the President if you request information or data from him or her.
– Do last minute cancellations on any appointments that you may have in the next few hours, might it be business or personal.
– If needed, call hour PR agency contact even you know she is on a very well-deserved vacation in Hawaii. Sorry but not sorry.
Life as a Corporate PR who deals with media on a regular basis can be fun, energizing and nerve-wracking at the same time, because you never know how the journalist will quote you and what the tone of the article will turn to be.
Bottom line is always speaking the truth in a positive way with empathy.
When I was a kid, my dream was to be a fairy tale writer; when I became a teenager, I realized that that the dream itself was a fairy tale. I mean, how can you make a living by writing fair tales? And, instead of writing stories, you better be one that turns the tale into a reality, like Megan Markle. 👸
I then “upgraded” my dream to become a journalist – a real one, a sharp one, a courageous one, but that dream got killed by my wise father when I chose my major to study in university in China, and you know why. Eventually I half-assed fulfilled my dream, because I’m in a position that allows me to interact with reporters on a regular basis. This fact in itself is significant enough to take me out of bed and go to work with anticipation and excitement everyday. 🙂
No news is good news, no journalist is even better. Keep my fingers crossed that I’m not getting a media call tomorrow, ha!