Whenever you deal with news media, there is a primary rule that you must keep in mind at all times.
Call it Cawleyís Theorem of Media Relations:
1. All journalists secretly believe they will someday win Pulitzer Prize.
2. No journalist ever won Pulitzer by writing nice things about American business.
Therefore: If a journalist finds out something negative about your company, expect to see it in news.
So whatís point of this theorem?
Anytime you deal with a journalist Ė whether in person, online, by phone, by letter, in a media kit, whatever Ė realize you are dealing with a tiger.
The tiger may purr. The tiger may preen. The tiger may even run and jump and play. But if tiger smells fresh meat, tiger will feed.
No matter how friendly you become with a journalist, no matter how well an interview goes, no matter how warm and fuzzy you feel as you wait for a story to appear: Expect negatives.
The journalistís job is not to make your company look good. The journalistís job is to report an intriguing story that an editor will approve, an audience will read and Ė if possible Ė a prize committee will recognize with praise and trophies.
And nothing makes a story more intriguing than a big, fat, hairy, embarrassing negative.
Letís put it this way: The Washington Postís Bob Woodward didnít become Bob Woodward by writing nice stories. He spent early part of his career digging up as many embarrassing stories about government agencies and private companies as he could. He cut his teeth by revealing corporate greed and government waste.