Here is what a press protocol could look like –case of a non-existing NGO “Better Education”:
Press releases, media alerts and statements
All press releases, media alerts, statements, etc. should be reviewed by the Communications Department of “Better Education” before they are publicly issued.
There are four reasons for this: so that Communications can take account of the statement in its daily dealings with the media on behalf of “Better Education”; so that Communications can alert
others within the network to whom the subject at hand might be relevant; so that Communications can determine whether any of the content of the statement is inconsistent with existing “Better Education” policies or positions; and so that Communications staff can lend their expertise to help
make your efforts as successful as possible.
Op-Eds, letters to the editor, and other articles
For reasons similar to those listed above, Communications should be advised of and should review any op-ed, letter to the editor, or other article that a “Better Education” staff member plans to submit for publication before it is submitted, if the staff member is going to be identified as a “Better Education” representative. The Communications Department will assume that the staff
member has discussed the proposed publication with or his or her supervisor.
All “Better Education” informational brochures, guidelines, program announcements, newsletters, and other substantive publications should be discussed with a Communications staff member at the earliest stage of inception. Again, Communications will assume that the staff member has discussed the proposed publication with his or her supervisor. In close cooperation with the program staff, Communications will discuss the appropriate form/use of the publication and will edit for style and, where appropriate, for content of all “Better Education” publications.
B. MEDIA RELATIONS
All "cold calls" from representatives of the media should be directed to the Communications Department. “Better Education” staff not specifically designated to do so should not make comments to the media or confirm or deny any information to a media representative.
Appearances and Interviews
1 Colloquially also called “Press Protocol”
The Communications Department should be notified, in advance whenever possible, of any interviews given by an “Better Education” staff member to radio, television, or print media. Please feel free to consult with the Communications department for advice on how to pitch stories, whom to contact in the press, etc. “Better Education” staff members should be mindful not to represent themselves as spokespeople for “Better Education” unless they are certain the views they are presenting are in fact those of the organization. If requested, the Communications staff is available for pre-interview coaching. If requested, a representative of the Communication Department can sit in on an interview.
Acting as a source
If the staff member is speaking as a representative of “Better Education”, the
Communications Department should be informed.
Website Design and Maintenance
While many individuals and departments are involved in creating and maintaining the “Better Education” website, the Communications Department should review all text and corporate
identity for the website before it is posted. “Better Education” Webmaster should be consulted regarding any design ideas.
C. OUTSIDE CONSULTANTS
The “Better Education” Communications Department should be notified before any outside
publications, graphic design, advertising or media consultants are engaged.
The hiring of photographers should be coordinated through the Communications
Department. The Communications Department can help facilitate choosing the best photographer for the job at hand, advising on the contract to be negotiated and providing aesthetic direction for a particular photo shoot. In addition, it is important that the Communications Department be aware of all “Better Education”-related photographs, as they are often used in various “Better Education” publications.