“Thou shall tell the truth.” Say what you mean clearly and honestly. Disclose the truth quickly to avoid startling disclosures.


“Thou shall be fair.” Treat different members of the media equally. Be nice and fair. Don’t hide anything.


“Thou shall do thy homework.” Communicators responsible for media relations must know their organization and issues extremely well. If you are asked a question about a subject with which you are unfamiliar, do not guess. Say you don’t know and get back to the reporter with the information as soon as you can.


“Thou shall respond quickly.” Respond to the press as soon as possible. When you discover a problem, make sure you expose it and remedy it quickly.


“Thou shall not procrastinate.” Learn and respect media deadlines. Embrace the newsperson’s sense of urgency about meeting those deadlines.


“Thou shall not build walls.” Make the job of the press easy and give them access to the whole story, including top executives for comment.


“Thou shall get out front as often as possible.” To develop better relations with the press, seek them out and get to know their needs and priorities. On a regular basis, key media people should be contacted, and given information they might find useful.


“Thou shall be consistently persistent.” Limit messages but be truthful, understandable, appropriate and acceptable. Say the same thing over and over to the media.


“Thou shall get the media’s attention.” A unique idea or approach to a story tends to garner more favor with newspeople than stories told in a way that news consumers find boring.


“Thou shall interact formally and informally with the media.” Media relations work best when they are developed through face-to-face personal communication.