ROYALTY'S ABBREVIATED GUIDE TO
DEALING WITH THE MEDIA AND THE PUBLIC
Originally written by Tom Sheridan..
- Just because a question is asked, does not mean you have to answer it.
If you ever feel uncomfortable, stop talking and tell them they need to contact the rodeo director or IGRA Public Relations Spokesperson.
- With the media, there are dumb questions. Do not fall into a trap of replying if it could be used against us.
Ex. Is it true at gay rodeos that men have sex with boys? If you answer, "No" They can print that as a direct quote ("No, men don't have sex with boys at gay rodeos.") and the damage is already done. A better answer to that same question might be, "Gay rodeos are a great place for ALL people, not just GLBT folks, to find people who enjoy C/W activities."
- Never attempt to convert an animal rights activist.
This would be like an ex-gay ministry person trying to convert you on the way into a gay bar on Saturday night. Ain't gonna happen and you'll both end up looking foolish. We do have an Animal Issues Brochure!
- You are our community outreach reps, not our Animal Safety rep.
When confronted by someone who genuinely wants to know how we treat our animals. Tell them you'd be happy to have someone from IGRA send them our animal rights statement. Direct them to our website. Tell them our rules require that we never run a rodeo without a vet present. Avoid any long conversations in this area. We do have an Animal Issues Brochure! Have them call IGRA Animal Issues and Concerns Spokesperson or IGRA Public Relations Spokesperson.
- Never speak on behalf of IGRA.
It's often tempting when you are in public to simply say, "On behalf of IGRA, I'm flattered to be here this evening." The correct way is "On behalf of the IGRA Royalty Team, I'm flattered to be here this evening." IGRA has a spokesperson. If someone wants a statement from IGRA send him or her to that person. Newspapers (especially gay rags) are notorious for miss-quoting people, don't be the person speaking for IGRA that gets miss-quoted!
- Say it, don't spell it!!
Do not use acronyms when being interviewed. Not everyone knows what those letters mean. Say International Gay Rodeo Association instead of IGRA.
- When in doubt...be PERKY!
The most important thing you can be for the next year is excited. Imagine in your pocket you always have the ability to sprinkle happy dust on all those around you. Avoid discussing any IGRA (this includes your association or chapter) dirty laundry where ANYONE can hear you. At times this will be extremely difficult, but for the next year, lift your head and smile and remember that happy dust in your pocket!