Mylrea: exploit local media

Coverage in local and reg­ional media can often be more useful than national coverage, according to Transport for London director of group media relations Paul Mylrea.

Speaking at the Public Sector Communications conference, hosted in London by PRWeek publisher Haymarket last week, Mylrea told ­delegates that there was more to media coverage than ‘a bad headline in the Daily Mail'.

‘Readership of the five [main] ­local London newspapers exceeds that of the Evening Standard,' he said. ‘Don't overlook local, reg­ional and ethnic-minority titles. The nationals all have their own agendas, which sometimes makes them rather difficult to reach.'

Mylrea was giving a talk titled ‘Understanding media: working with the press'. He also urged public sector PROs to have well-practised, worst-case scenario plans for times of crisis.

Referring to last year's terrorist bombings of London's public transport network, Mylrea advised comms chiefs to: ‘Sit down and ask "what's the worse thing that could happen?"; then ask "what's even worse than that?"; and then think of the worst place and worst time for it to happen.'

Mylrea also revealed that TfL has introduced a scheme whereby staff carry lists of contact details and official procedures on a memory stick. The employees keep the sticks on their key fobs for use in emergencies.

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