Continued from page 1
Then came Watergate, which gave Woodward opportunity to apply all his well-honed, field-tested skills to dismantling Nixon administration.
This is how a suburban beat reporter becomes Bob Woodward.
If a reporter tours your job site before a groundbreaking ceremony, and sees a laundry list of OSHA violations, expect violations to appear in story.
If a reporter visits your headquarters to profile your CEO, and happens to view a layoff order on an assistant’s desk, expect to see layoff reported in news media.
If a reporter attends a preview of your newest product, and comes across a consumer advocate who believes your product is a threat to public health, expect to see advocate’s comments prominently played in article.
The point of Cawley’s Theorem is not to make you fearful of news media. The point is to make you keenly aware that there is risk as well as reward in dealing with reporters.
You cannot control what reporter reports. You must deal with this basic truth. Your CEO must deal with it. Your entire company culture must deal with it.
Like rest of us, journalists are looking to advance in their careers. There’s no faster way to advance in journalism than by winning Pulitzer.
And you win Pulitzer with brass-knuckle reporting.
The PR Rainmaker always keeps in mind: The reporter is never your friend and is never looking out for your best interests.
Copyright 2003 by W.O. Cawley Jr.
Rusty Cawley is a 20-year veteran journalist who now coaches executives, entrepreneurs and professionals on using the news media to attract customers and to advance ideas. For your free copy of the hot new ebook “PR Rainmaker,” please visit www.prrainmaker.com right now.