We’re having an interfaith prayer vigil this afternoon, for Cohasset resident Ana Walshe. (I just tested positive for COVID, so I can’t go.) Since this is a story that’s been in the news, as soon as word got out about the prayer vigil, our church started getting calls from media representatives.
One of the media representatives who called First Parish was just plain rude. An email we got sounded pushy and not at all sympathetic. Another church got a call offering to help publicize the event for us, something we really don’t want. The attitude of media representatives seems to be, “We need news, and you’re going to provide it for us!”
So here are some words of wisdom to media representatives:
- It would be wise for you to remember to follow the norms of ordinary politeness. If you are rude, we won’t forget.
- It would be wise for you to remember that you may be talking to someone who has strong feelings about this issue. If you sound callous or uncaring, we won’t forget.
- It would be wise for you to remember that we don’t need you any more to publicize local events. Social media and word of mouth work better.
All of which can be boiled down to: Treat people nicely.
Update: This afternoon, I received email from a reporter asking for an interview. I replied that I had COVID and was not able to give an interview. The reporter said they hoped I’d feel better. How nice! You can be sure that I remembered that person’s name, and if they contact me again I will be predisposed to talk with them.