Commission of Inquiry on Hormone Receptor Testing – Media Relations
The Commission of Inquiry opened in a highly sensitive and emotional environment amid intense media scrutiny. Intensive public interest and the information needs of diverse interest groups had to be balanced with the Commissioner’s direction to maintain judicious protocols and decorum and to protect the privacy and wishes of witnesses. Maintaining this delicate balance meant, first of all, that the Commission team and the media needed to understand and respect each other’s perspectives.
While supporting the Commissioner’s media protocols, Pilot° worked with the Commission team to shape media policy and develop a solid working relationship with local, national and international media. Pilot° crafted a comprehensive media strategy that recommended on on-site media access to witnesses and the hearing room, advised on set-up, equipment and media interface, dealt with off-site inquiries and referrals to other parties with standing, and provided research-based advice on public access. To support the strategy, Pilot° developed a full package of media relations products, managed media both on-site and off and advised on website content. The company carried out extensive media monitoring, analyzing and reporting on as many as 700 transcripts a month. To build the Commission team’s capacity, Pilot° incorporated media training for employees.
A balanced approach secured excellent co-operation from media and preserved the dignity of and respect for witnesses. Pilot°’s direct handling of media relations enabled the Commissioner and Co-Counsel to focus on their work. An added benefit was increased staff ability to handle subsequent media relations.