Department of Communications and Marketing
The CBA Communications and Marketing department is responsible for promoting CBA membership and events, upholding relations with the media, and the development and maintenance of benefits and services for the membership.
What we’d all like to see in the media are images of attorneys as problem-solvers and counselors, as defenders of the poor and injured, upholders of the right and righteous, giving and good, and totally necessary in the democratic scheme of things.
It doesn’t always work out that way.
In the Communications and Marketing Department, we try our best to keep a good relationship with members of the media, to suggest good stories, to head off unfair or incorrect publicity. We were told many years ago by a firm that did a study on attitudes toward the legal system that we shouldn’t try some “slick” campaign, but instead needed to emphasize a low-key, long-term policy of trustworthy information aimed at reporters and editors. We want to be the place reporters call when they need to talk to a lawyer and know that they’ll be put in touch with a knowledgeable attorney who will call them back quickly and speak in plain language about the subject at hand.
We don’t just wait for a call, however. When a topic becomes the focus of attention (lack of water, for instance), we call reporters and ask if we can put on a seminar for them, starring lawyers deeply experienced in that area. We e-mail reporters often, complimenting them on a story, adding a comment, or sometimes, offering a gentle correction.
We ask that you also hold reporters accountable for what they write. A study done in the wake of plagiarism and other ethical charges against two New York Times reporters showed that many people don’t take the trouble to call or e-mail in corrections because they don’t think reporters care. We think they do care. Would you please find out how to contact a reporter by e-mail (in Denver, use the first initial with a last name – i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org to contact Howard Pankratz or use the same style to contact anyone else at The Denver Post, including the editor on down). Please e-mail or call them when you see a mistake or believe that a story is unfair. Pass along a compliment even more quickly. Reporters are more careful when someone is watching. Please be that someone who watches.
If you are not comfortable contacting a journalist on your own, don't hesitate to contact us so we can follow up.
MEMBER E-NEWSLETTER: CBA C-brief is an electronic newsletter e-mailed to CBA members every other Thursday.
LAW SCHOOL FOR JOURNALISTS: The Colorado Bar Association, Our Courts Colorado and the Colorado Judicial Department have teamed up to create "Law School for Journalists," a series of classes designed to provide reporters with basic information about the legal system and the judiciary.
LEGAL LINES is a column sent out once a month to more than 100 Colorado newspapers. It’s a general interest column that takes practical questions from readers and it runs in newspapers across the state.
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