Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Thursday Thought - Media Relations

I am getting asked to do regular media work over the last year or so. This started when our marketing department asked if they could hook me up with a reporter for a story about a year ago. Apparently, I am a good interview and since that time, I have been done an average of an interview a month (all in my area of interest). Further, the school has been asking me to do promotional advertising. A YouTube feature here and a photo shoot and story there. The question comes, does doing this type of work get my any sort of advantage or credit?

From what I see, there is a lot of risk. For instance, after a couple of my interviews, I got nasty phone calls and emails from people disagreed with my opinion - which I do not necessarily mind but I do realize that one wrong word or phrasing could get me into a world of hurt (which was why I was very hesitant to do these pre-tenure). I also realize that I could get on the wrong side of a donor or someone 'important' even if I have a well reasoned, evidenced and supportable viewpoint. I am wondering if I should start saying no.

The advantages I see as being three fold: 1) It enhances the prestige of both myself, my Department and the University; 2) I get to share my research and work to a broader audience that would probably not be exposed to it otherwise; and 3) It does seem to help in the recruitment and retention of students and donors.

I need your opinion, should I keep saying 'yes' to these requests?

BTW, I hate the way I look and sound on camera.

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