Dos and don'ts of PR

7th April 2000 at 01:00
* DO try and return phone calls to journalists as quickly as possible, and, at the very least, within 24 hours.

* DON'T be evasive or simply ignore their questions. You are more likely to get a good press if a reporter thinks you are being open with them.

* DO offer to refer a press enquiry to another member of staff if they are likely to be able to answer a journalist's questions in more detail.

* DON'T assume that a conversation is "off the record" unless this has been agreed beforehand between you and the journalist.

* DO try and find out which journalists regularly deal with education at newspapers and other media.

* DON'T bombard them with frivolous press releases about colege events which you would not want to read or hear about yourself.

* DO agree which member(s) of staff should deal with press enquiries in the first instance.

* DON'T try to prevent other staff from talking to the media, but point out that it would be better for the college if they informed the principal or director of public relationsmarketing beforehand.

* DO try and find out how much reporters already know about the college or further education in general prior to any conversation with them.

* DON'T assume that journalists who regularly report on education stories are experts on FE, or are necessarily familiar with the finer points of the FEFC's funding methodology.

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