At Better Business Bureau, a big part of our job is educating the public so they can make better choices in the marketplace, relating to both their money and to protecting their personal information. We do this in so many ways – with our website, through speaking to community organizations, and by providing information to members of the media, just to name a few.
Working with the media is one our most effective options because it allows us to reach so many people. It is great for us because we are accomplishing our mission. It is great for the media outlets because they are providing a service for their audience, generally in an entertaining way.
For example, every Thursday at around 12:15, I sit for a segment on Columbia’s KMIZ-17 news broadcast. Each week, the noon anchor and I talk about all sorts of issues, mostly related to consumers. For example, this week we talked about scammers who convince people that they can get their student loans forgiven, for a fee, through some imaginary government program. (As a side note, you will probably never find a program like this – if you see one, look at it very carefully; you will almost certainly want to get as far away from it as possible).
Here are some of the ways we work with the media:
- Regular news segments on TV or radio, like the one I do each week on KMIZ
- Columns in newspapers or magazines (for example, I currently write columns for the Columbia Daily Tribune and the Jefferson City News-Tribune)
- Serving as a source for existing news stories, or helping initiate new ones
- Related to scams
- Related to information consumers need to make good buying decisions
- Related to identity theft
- Related to seasonal issues such as gift shopping, winterizing homes and autos, and applying for scholarships
- Writing blog posts, either now and then or on an ongoing basis
The bottom line is that Better Business Bureau enjoys an important relationship with media at all levels – from local to national – that allows us to provide valuable service to both consumers and the business community in an interesting way.