As ACCESS continues to grow, we are increasingly approached by both print and electronic media for comments, feedback and insight from our volunteers following airline disasters and other related topics.
As an ACCESS volunteer grief mentor you have a unique insight to share as you have personally been touched by an airline disaster at some point in the past and also you are part of an ongoing outreach effort to help people who have been impacted more recently.
If you are a volunteer and interested in being contacted to speak to the press when they contact ACCESS for comments please let us know and keep in mind the following suggestions when talking to the media:
1) The media is usually working on an extreme deadline so when “going on record” keep your comments and statements focused, short and to the point, leaving as little room as possible to be taken out of context or misrepresented.
2) The media always has a specific story angle, which changes often. Do not take it personally if you are interviewed and your comments are not included in the story.
3) If possible try to get the questions you are going to be asked in advance so that you have time to prepare and are not be caught of guard.
4) Speak slowly, pause and think about what you want to say before you say it.
5) Decide beforehand how “personal” you want to get (remember, once you are recorded on tape, everyone will hear about your personal problems, and emotional difficulties). Be careful about expressing anger and negative comments.
6) Don’t get drawn into criticism, controversy or the reporter’s agenda. Frequently, you will be asked closed- ended questions (yes-no), which may result in you expressing something that you don’t really believe, but will feed the reporter’s needs.
7) Don’t answer questions you are not comfortable with, no matter how much pressure is applied. Never hesitate to say, “I don’t feel comfortable answering that question.”
Compiled by Alan Ross & Heidi Snow