Tops tips: coping with media attention

What happens when ordinary people suddenly find themselves in the middle of a media storm? You might think such a thing will never happen to you – but the extraordinary does happen to someone…


Here’s my top tips for coping with sudden press attention.

* Firstly, don’t talk to anyone. You might be tempted to respond to allegations or talk if you are offered money but something said in the heat of the moment could be something you will later regret. Leave the answerphone on and if you are besieged by reporters, consider moving out of your house to a hotel or friends for a few days while you consider your options.

* Get professional advice. Sometimes people delay getting help. They might believe they can handle the situation themselves and they might believe enlisting the help of a media agent will be expensive. But if you decide to sell your story, a media agent will usually be able to gain you more money than you would be able to negotiate yourself. At the same time, a good media agent can give legal advice (by putting you in touch with a lawyer that specialises in this situation) to ensure you are left in peace straightaway. They can also prepare a statement if necessary or if you don’t want to tell your story, even keep it out of the papers.

* It’s important to get an experienced media agent at your side as fast as possible. For a start, you will feel greatly relieved to have someone to seek advice from. People in the middle of press attention often feel helpless, but having a media agent represent you puts you back in control. You can then discuss the pros and cons of selling your story with an expert. It’s important not to dither if you want to sell your story as once it’s out of the news, interest in it can wane. If this happens the amount of money your story commands might go down. At the same time, you want to be sure selling your story is the right way forward for you.

* A media agent can also ensure your story is told as you want it to be, and it is read back to you, that it is not sold on without your consent or indeed syndicate your story worldwide, ensuring you make more money.

For more help dealing with the press or if you find yourself in need of urgent advice then do contact me here: Media Agent

You might also enjoy reading this: What a Publicist can do for you.

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Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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