Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How to handle the media on aviation stories

For years, I've advocated against the policies of AOPA and whiners on social networking sites to fear the media when it comes to general aviation reporting. The AOPA, as I've written before, has an us-against-them attitude in dealing with the media, and wants any media inquiry into the safety of experimentals (and other general aviation planes) referred to them.

That's utter nonsense.

As I've advocated before, if pilots are proactive and make contact with reporters before a plane crashes, it'll be much easier to get favorable news coverage when the bad news hits.

I don't know if this RV-10 owner had done that, but clearly there was a relationship at some point between the reporter and the aviator that allowed him to get in front of the story. This is the result:

Call your local reporter today and offer to take them for a ride. Give them your name and address if they ever need help with a story. Offer to show them around.

If they don't immediately accept a ride, they'll keep you in mind when they're looking for a fresh angle, whether it's a plane crash or a threat to close the local airport.

It beats sitting in the hangar with other pilots, or banging away on social networking sites how much the media sucks.

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