The number 1 media tip you have to hear
by Katharine Giovanni
A few years ago, a reporter interviewed me for a story he was writing for the Associated Press. After the interview was over, we chatted for a few minutes and out of the blue he asked me the following question...
"Mrs. Giovanni, I need your advice about something"
Since reporters generally don't ask me that (combined with the fact that he had just told me he graduated from college the previous year and this was his first job) my radar was immediately up. So I answered "sure what's up?"
He then told me a story...
A few days before our interview, the young man interviewed a concierge and asked them what the strangest thing they have ever done for a client was. The concierge told them they owned a few limousines and could get their clients any recreational drug they wanted. They then told the reporter "of course that's off the record right?"
"So I have a problem. Technically, if you want it off the record you have to say it before the sentence, not after. So I could use it if I wanted to. I already told my boss about the interview and he wants to run it. I really don't want to write it because it will hurt your industry. Plus, I really don't want to give that guy any free press because he doesn't deserve it. What should I do?"
A reporter with ethics! I LOVED this kid!!!! He was warm, friendly and genuinely wanted to help. So we chatted for about 20 minutes and I advised him to go with his heart. Of course, I also agreed that it would seriously hurt our industry if he ran the story.
For the next month I patiently waited for the story to come out. I went to their website and ran internet searches to see if his article had come out.
Nothing. I'm pleased to report that he stood his ground and never printed it.
So the moral of the story? NOTHING is off the record! If you say it, there is a good chance they'll print it so be careful. I would also only provide services that are legal, moral and ethical.
One more thing... many reporters will ask for your funniest story in the concierge industry. That's fine, just don't give your client's name. Just say "a celebrity client of mine once asked me to... " Confidentiality is the hallmark of the concierge industry and should never ever be broken.
About the Author: Katharine Giovanni is one of the world’s leading corporate concierge, front desk and customer service trainers, and is considered by many to be one of the original founders of the independent concierge industry.