Open, Honest Communication
Simple and naive as it may sound, the best approach with news media is to tell the plain truth and tell it promptly. Take the lead in delivering information, even when the content of the information is distasteful.

Some events will mean ongoing interaction with the news media. It's a good idea to set the tone for ongoing relationships with the media by being as open and honest as possible from the beginning. Journalists often suspect that persons who are evasive, difficult to reach, or close-mouthed may be covering up something. Confronted with a stonewall, good journalists will do whatever it takes to get past it; by pushing harder, by finding other, possibly less responsible, less reliable routes to the information they seek, or by speculation. It is hard to control a message when you don't deliver anything substantial.

Stick to the facts. Sometimes journalists want to make more of things than is there, but complete understanding usually takes time. Don't inadvertently encourage them to spot a trend where there is only one isolated case. Stick to the facts of each case and be careful not to try to interpret its meaning unless there is enough information to do so.

If, for whatever reason, your organization has released incorrect information, correct it through official channels as soon as possible. Often, the least damaging way to deal with mistakes is to simply own up to them.

Identify the person(s) within your organization who will speak on various issues relating to your organization, and make sure everyone is aware of who those people are, and what procedures must be followed.

The spokespeople should work closely with the communications staff person (if the organization has one) right from the begining. It can be difficult, and potentially dangerous, to craft a coherent media strategy off the cuff. And since the first contact for many journalists is the communication person, an organization can send a damaging message if that individual is ill-informed or utterly ignorant of the issue.

Adopted from information obtained from the Canadian Hockey Association
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