Day Two at #WACities: Black, White & Read All Over

Posted on June 23, 2016

My new favorite conference session to promote for local government organizations is to showcase newspaper and blog journalists and get their feedback on how local government can improve and strengthen media relations. Included below are the question areas that we asked for the #WACities panel, and here are the presentation slides. Please feel free to borrow this presentation template for your local government media relations training needs. It was really well received and provided a lot of hands on, practical knowledge about how to work most effectively with the news media.
Question areas:
  • What is one practical tip or advice that local government officials can use to immediately strengthen their relationships with local newspaper reporters?
  • Conversely – what’s the biggest mistake a local official could make when working with a journalist.
  • In “the olden days,” newspapers required a name, address, telephone number before running a letter to the editor. Now, online commenting is ubiquitous. Talk to us about this shift from accountability to anonymity in communicating with the newspapers.
  • In your opinion, what are the best ways for local government to combat misinformation in the online comments section?
  • Everyone in this room shares a commitment to transparency. Talk to us about your concerns related to public records – where is government meeting your expectations and where are we falling short
  • Government is increasingly using social media to communicate. How does this affect your coverage of local government affairs?
  • Communications are moving faster now than ever before. With hyperlocal publishing options, multi media expectations, and so many social networks, share with us the reality of your business, and what government can do better to accommodate the rapidly digitized schedules and deadlines in journalism.
  • If you could wave a magic wand and have government adopt one of the digital business practices of the newspaper industry, what would it be and why?
  • What’s on the horizon in journalism – what developments and trends can we expect to see from your industry that will affect our citizens?
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