News & Features

TGB helps school principals manage the media

Tindall Gask Bentley Lawyers and the South Australian State School Leaders Association have held a media management seminar for school leaders in Adelaide.

Held in Channel 9’s historic Kevin Crease Studio, reporter Tom Richardson focused on how school staff should handle a media interview.

Richardson, who is a State Political Reporter and Columnist at InDaily online newspaper, offered school leaders a number of tips, including:

 – Know the message you are trying to get across

 – Stay on message

 – Stick to the point

 – Trust your knowledge – a school leader’s experience qualifies them to speak for their profession.

David Burtenshaw, Communications Manager at the Adelaide Football Club, offered advice about how to handle the media in a crisis.

Among a number of important points, Burtenshaw said:

 – In a crisis it is not all about the media. School leaders should look after their people and their organisation first.

 – It can be dangerous to talk to the media before gathering all information possible about the issue.

Andrew Montesi manages communications and public relations at Tindall Gask Bentley Lawyers, and spoke of a number of ways a school leader can promote their school through the media, including:

 – Creating a media contact list and developing relationships with local and relevant journalists.

 – Brainstorming news story ideas among staff (news must be “new” and provide a fresh angle for a journalist) to offer journalists.

Morry Bailes, Managing Partner at Tindall Gask Bentley Lawyers, addressed issues relating to defamation, and while what can and can’t be said is largely “common sense”, he spoke of ways school leaders can protect themselves from defamation, and how to know whether they may have been defamed.

Finally, the Advertiser’s Education Editor Sheradyn Holderhead engaged in a question and answer forum. She gave an overview about what education stories are of most interest, and reiterated her willingness to work with school leaders, and receive their story ideas.

Media training is important for all organisations. If you would like to arrange a media training day, contact Andrew Montesi on (08) 8212 1077.