The beginning of a new year is always a great time for mind, body, and work reflection. What did we accomplish and what can we do differently in 2015? It’s no different for communication professionals who work with the news media. It is a perfect time to analyze what worked and what didn’t in 2014. With that in mind, here are a few things to consider when reviewing your teams media engagement and messaging execution:

Who is in and who is out.  The news media is changing more rapidly than the weather. Don’t be surprised if your trusted contact over the past year has left the station and the business. It’s sad but reality in today’s evolving media landscape. Bottom line-update your media contact list!

Was your spokesperson a rock star or a flop? Like it or not, the person(s) who handle media interviews is the face of the organization. It’s imperative that person puts the best messages on the table and looks and sounds good doing it. When is the last time your team was media trained and coached? Ten years ago doesn’t count. Even five years ago is irrelevant. Too much has changed in the media. If your team hasn’t been trained, it’s time. If they have, and performed below expectations, it’s time for a refresher. After that, if expectations are still not being met, it may be time to consider staff changes.

Did you face a media crisis in 2014? How did your team do? Hopefully it was a “good news” year for your organization. If  it wasn’t, it’s time for a sit down with your media team to face your own tough questions. How did the team do responding to media inquiries. Was the process smooth and seamless or chaotic? Did media calls and emails get to the right person(s)?  What about response times? Messaging? And most importantly, how was the organization received in the media? These are all important questions to ask to ensure your communication success in the new year.

Did you reach your social media goals? We already know about the power of social media. Most if not all of us use it daily. It’s no different in the news media. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds are today’s news scanners. The news media is constantly monitoring social media sites for stories, and they are also looking for content that gets clicks, posts, retweets, etc. You should have a dedicated social media specialist, along with a shared social media calendar, so everyone is on the same page and knows what is being posted and when.

Review what worked and what didn’tIt’s a  simple easy task, but not many people actually take the time to do it. The easiest way to get better is to review your work. I worked in front of a camera for a long time but I would still review my stories and stand-ups. It had nothing to do with ego. Playback is the quickest way to know what worked and what didn’t.


Rich Dubek is a two time Emmy winning TV news reporter with twenty five years of major market TV news experience. He conducts media training and messaging coaching worldwide and is the only media trainer actively working in television network news.