The media and your board
August 14, 2009
Communicating with the media
The media is interested in what happens at your board meetings, and the media version of your board actions is what most people in your community see (or hear). Providing reporters with a press kit, including the agenda and any other pertinent information, is helpful.
Reporters have no more right to speak at your meeting than any other member of the public. Any questions should be deferred to a recess or when the meeting is adjourned.
Working with the media
The agenda delineates what needs to be accomplished in the meeting, the order in which it should be done and who is responsible for each action. The board chair should have the ability to observe and actively listen throughout the meeting, while staying focused on the agenda. If anyone interferes with the order of the meeting, it is the chair’s responsibility to get the meeting back on track.
Remember that discussion should be limited to a specific topic (normally a motion on the floor) and that only one person may be recognized to speak at any given moment — that person being recognized by the chair. As each agenda item is completed, it is the chair’s responsibility to move to the next item and not allow further discussion on a topic that has already been acted upon.