What Not to Say When the City Newspaper Reporter Calls:
"Residents at Lutheran Home and Concord Village, 6701 S. Anthony Blvd., are not getting all their snack options these days, said administrator Matthew Maupin. Gordon Food Service, which is their food vendor, informed them of the recall. Residents have many other snacks to choose from, Maupin said."
Which is not what I said.
Extendicare and Beverly Healthcare both gave me great training on media response. But they also both had teams. If I recall correctly, I may have had a colorful laminated card with 24-hour PR response - basically, keep your mouth shut. I see that Lutheran Hospital had a "spokesperson" in this article. That's pro.
In this case, I actually explained over the phone that sure, we had received some product related to the recall, but that we were fortunate to have our great national vendor alert us immediately and assist with product replacement.
Why did I say this, even? There was no need. I did not ask to be quoted directly, which would have been responsible, even if it didn't work. I could have offered a quick written response via email, which would have been nice documentation for both parties(what if I had been quoted waaaay out of context).
I just don't gain anything giving some one-liner about peanut butter to my adoring fan base in Fort Wayne. So anyways, just some quick advice: Don't respond off-the-cuff.
If you don't buy my advice, click here for someone else's tips (a nice Powerpoint presentation) for dealing with a media call.