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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
SACRAMENTO: Refuge Project Leaders Get Pointers on Dealing With Print Media
Region 8, February 7, 2008

 Refuge project leaders in the California and Nevada Region learned the ins and outs of working with print news media during a morning training session Feb 7 in Sacramento. Media consultant and retired San Francisco Chronicle columnist Glen Martin told Region 8 refuge project leaders that each had a story to tell, and provided them pointers on how to improve their interractions with news media.

Martin, who covered environmental and police beats for the Chronicle, encouraged the project leaders to reach out to local newspaper reporters. "You don't have to be their (reporters) best friends, establishing a working relationship with local reporters will help you get your stories told," Martin said. He also said it's often the seemingly "small stuff"  that really matter to a reporter.

"About the most important thing you can do for a reporter is call him back," Martin said. "Reporters are working on deadlines and a timely response from you goes along way to establishing a good relationship."

Martin told the project leaders that in nearly all cases reporters will want to get a refuge manager's perspective on a story that impacts the refuge. While it might appear to managers that the relationship is adversorial, it is important for managers to remember the reporter has a job to do, and wants to be fair to all parties.

The morning media training session was part of the region's annual refuges project leader meeting. The training session provided the project leaders with a better perspective on how the media works, and encourages project leaders to "tell our story," to the public through the news media. 

The refuge media training was sponsored by Region 8 External Affairs, and supports the Region Director's goal of expanding public communications."Communicating our successes in the field is critically important and one of the Region 8 Priorities for Fiscal Year 2008," said Alex Pitts, Assistant Regional Director for External Affairs.


Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov