Advice from the Media | William Beecher
November 7, 2012Name: William Beecher Title: Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland, College Park. (Pulitzer Prize winning former Washington correspondent for the Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal and New York Times.) Personal Blog: WilliamBeecher 1) Describe what your typical workday was in 140 characters or less. When covering foreign affairs from Washington, I would start the day at the State Department, seeing sources I’d set up in advance, then move to other interviews at DOD, the White House, the Hill, the CIA, or with think tank experts or foreign embassy officials. 2) What's the best pitch you've ever received? During the Kennedy Administration officials spelled out a missile gap with the Soviet Union. It was exaggerated for political purposes. 3) The greatest words of wisdom an editor ever gave you? “Go with what you’ve got.” It was advice from Prof. John Hohenberg at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. The idea was: do as much reporting and research at you could, but when it came close to deadline, you should write the story on the basis of the best information you had at that point. You could always continue reporting and add new information subsequently. 4) If there was one thing you could tell every PR practitioner, what would it be? When your client has bad news, put it out immediately. You might have a day or two of lumps, but if you allow bad news to have legs and fester, it will bite your client endlessly.