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Managing the Relationship with the Press in Commercial Diplomacy:
Developing an Effective Public Communication Strategy


Geza Feketekuty



(Please note outline complete, body of manual under construction)




  • Who Can Benefit from this Manual? –

Educators, Students and Practitioners of Commercial Diplomacy

  • What is Commercial Diplomacy, What is the role of Public Communications, and Why Does the Press make a Difference?


Chapter 1.     Understanding the Press –

  • What Motivates them? (Skepticism at the intersection of private and public interests)
  • How do they Define Success?
  • What are their Requirements?
  • What is the Implication for Your Message? (The "bigger" your story, the greater the risks)

Chapter 2. Which "Press" Matters Most to You?

  • Changes in the press over the past decade, and what it means for you (There is no monolithic "press").
  • Is a bigger story a better story?
  • Where do you fit in the press food chain?
  • How do I find my way in the jungle? (International press, major dailies, wire services, television news, business wires, trade press, and from the worldwide web).

Chapter 3.     Understanding Public and Media Attitudes towards Global Trade and Investment Issues

  • Why Public and Media Attitudes Matter
  • What does Seattle mean for public perceptions of trade
  • Attitudes change over time, and from Country to Country 
  • How Prevailing Attitudes Should Influence Your Message

Chapter 4.     What Breaks Through and Where Do You Make Trade News? 

  • Timing is Everything
  • The Domestic Regulatory Arena Looms As Important as the International Negotiating Table
  • Making Your Audience Understand the Intersection of the Regulatory Arena and Trade Impacts
  • Above All, Trade News is Local: Bringing "Globalization" Home



Chapter 5.     Targeting Your Audience and Identifying the Right News Outlets

  • Who Needs to be Persuaded to Advance Your Goals?
  • Is it Better to Go It Alone, or Create a Larger Cause?
  • Is Political Support Concentrated in a Geographic Area?
  • Is Your Issue Viewed as a "Zero Sum Game"? (with domestic opposition as the first hurdle to overcome)?
  • What News and Professional Publications Does Your Audience See, Read and Respond To?
  • Reaching the Opinion Leaders, Politicians and Media… No Simple Formula

Chapter 6.     Shaping Your Message

  • What is the Substantive Message You Want to get Out?/What is Your Key Point? 
  • How Do You Make Your Concerns Understandable 
    • To the Press? 
    • To the Target Audience? 
  • What Information is Essential to Make Your Case? 
  • What are Your Opponents Saying About Your "Story."
    • Do You Respond? 
    • If So, How Do You Respond?
  • How Do You Make Your Message Newsworthy?
    • The Human Interest Angle
    • The Visual Image Angle 
    • The Big Questions of the Day Angle
    • The "Local" Angle 

Chapter 7.     Press Release Fundamentals: Telling a Good Story

  • Style, Content, Structure, and Length of Press Release 
  • Content, Structure and Length of Background Documents 
  • Relationship to White Papers, Testimony, Speeches
  • Involvement of "Think Tanks" or Other Supporting Constituencies 

Chapter 8.     Making Your Public Case: The Press Interview or Press Conference

  • The Role of the Press Conference or Interview in the Instant Media/Web News Environment?
  • Preparing for the Moment: Q's and A's 
  • What to Look Out For: Passing Your Own Rorschach Test
  • How to Stay on Message (Response to Questions about Confidential Information or Offensive, Accusatory Questions)

Chapter 9.     Building and Maintaining Credibility with the Press

  • How to Maintain Two-Way Credibility
  • What Does the Reporter/News Organization Want From You? 
  • What is the Line Between Personal and Professional Relationships?
  • Setting out the Ground Rules: On the record, no attribution, background 
  • Accessibility and quid pro Quo: When do "Take On" The Press 
  • Building Up a Knowledge Base of Your Issues Among Key Reporters 


Chapter 10.     The Television Media

  • How Television is Different from the Written Media 
  • Other Media 
    •  Connect with Your Audience
    • How to Work with Financial Television Producers 
    • The Challenge of "Streaming Media" 
  • How TV Can best Supplement the Written Media
  • What to Fear From Television 

Chapter 11.     Other Media 

  • The Internet
    • The Era of the 24-Hour News Cycle
    • The Web Site as an Advocacy Tool
    • Web Sites and Rumors: What It Means for You
    • Do You Need an Advocacy Web Site? 
    • How Do You Promote Interest in Your Web Site?
  • Newsletters, Academic Journals, Professional Publications, "Think Tanks": Do You Need Help Elevating Your Issue?
    • What Forum Is Right for You?
    • What Are the Risks of "Academic" Dialogue
    • Is It Worth Paying for Third Party Analysis?
    • Use of Position Papers, White Papers, Legislative Testimony and Speeches
  • Paid Advertising
    • Evaluating Whether the Cost Justifies the Benefits (of providing an unfiltered message to your audience)
    • Defining Your Message
    • Evaluating Risk of Escalation
    • What Media Fit Your Plan/Budget
  • "Grassroots" support: What it means for you
    • Can You Attract and Build Support for Cause
    • Activating Employees: Restrictions and Risks
    • Does Direct Mail Work for You?
    • Is Your Constituency Real?
    • What Are the Costs of a "Retail" Campaign?


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