Talk to reporters: It's your professional duty

AuthorCristin Schmitz
g Fall 2011
Talk t eers:
As a journalist from a “legacy” medium (meaning that my
stories are still printed on dead trees), I was attered to be
invited to write about dealing with the media. Certainly, lawyers
are taking an increasingly sophisticated approach to those dealings.
For example, hardly a day goes by that I do not receive a press release
from a large rm, or a university law faculty, oering its lawyers as
commentators on the important legal developments of the day. Law-
yers are raising their professional proles and attracting new clients by
sharing their expertise (and trumpeting their victories) through social
media, blogging and even slick current-aairs-style podcasts on their
own websites.
Yet the gold standard for publicity probably still remains a mention
in a story by a professional journalist from a reputable media outlet.
So what are today’s deadline-harried reporters looking for from law-
yers? Above all, we need instant access to your expertise. Start by provid-
ing us with your cellphone and Blackberry coordinates. Many journalists,
whatever their medium, are ling rst to the web– almost immediately
after important court judgments or legal developments. If you are a
lawyer who can instantly provide reliable information and/or trenchant
quotes, you will quickly nd yourself on a reporter’s speed dial.
Of course, not every reporter deserves your trust and respect. Get
to know who you are dealing with. If a reporter has a solid reputation,

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