By Vicki Bendure This article is a part of the March/April 2018, Volume 30, Number 2, Audiology Today issue. As public relations professionals, we encounter mostly two types of clients—those who prefer to ignore media (“if you don’t engage, they can’t write bad information about you”); and those who are fairly lackadaisical about what they say to media, including what they post on social media. There should be a middle ground, as everyone should have some apprehension in dealing with the press. Media 101 says, “they are reporters, not your friends,” and “nothing is off the record.” Choosing to ignore media calls does not guarantee that you’ll stay out of a news story. In spite of the “fake news” era and depending on the outlet, stories in the media have five times more (and greater) credibility than advertising. The media can be an efficient, low-cost avenue in getting your story out in front of existing and potential patients. The best way to tell your story is to be proactive about it. Call a local reporter and invite him or her to tour your practice, to see a hearing test, and learn about what you do. Or call the reporter and ask to meet for coffee close to the media outlet. Building a relationship is the first important step to getting positive news coverage. In building a relationship you also become the “go-to expert” for that reporter for anything hearing related. If you establish yourself as a good source who will respond to media in a timely manner (return phone calls as soon as possible), and make the reporter’s work easier, you’ll easily become the trusted source. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!