Dealing with the Media
February 18, 2005 8:19 AM   Subscribe

Ok, this is a bit odd. I am getting married at the same venue as Charles and Camilla. My SO and I are the next couple to use the place after them and media interest has arrived today..

So far I have done interviews with the BBC, the Mirror and a news agency. A Sunday paper wants to meet me and offer a 'proposal'. It's all quite laughable but I am interested in any advice as it is all a bit bizarre. I'm very keen to not cheapen the wedding but also don't want to offer something for nothing...
posted by Frasermoo to Media & Arts (17 answers total)
What exactly is your question?

Almost every press interview is done for free -- there are ethical rules against paying for them. You'd likely be used as a quick little sidebar or a one-line quote in a Charles/Camilla story anyway.

I'd at least see what the Sunday paper's proposal is. Then you can evaluate it on its merits, and accept it or not.
posted by Vidiot at 8:31 AM on February 18, 2005

Response by poster: Sorry it's a bit vague, but I really am interested in any advice like 'Don't let the guy tape your conversation' or 'Don't accept a cheque without a contract..' etc...

tis all a bit different from my 9-to-5.
posted by Frasermoo at 8:41 AM on February 18, 2005

Vidiot, I think you are in error as to payment and ethical rules in the UK tabloid market. The upmarket UK papers would likely balk at paying (well the Guardian anyway), the Mirror or its ilk though, potential for profit! Maybe for them to pay for more expensive stuff for the wedding perhaps, if they want a nice picture for example, they might shell for morning suits/expensive dress if you were going for something more casual. Bear in mind that the wedding is likely to be one of those events that gets 14 pages of coverage in a sunday paper, and thus pictures relating to any odd angle may well be desired. You only have to look at how much interest there has been in the press today just on the basis of the cock-up over location as to how this article might spin.
posted by biffa at 8:44 AM on February 18, 2005

How about: have nothing to do with any of them?

Media that follows celebrities around are not the most scrupulous journalists. My guess is that no matter what you say or do, they've got a story in mind about you already (commoner stands in line behind Charles).

What in the world do you hope to gain by this? It sounds like you're risking polluting the memory of your wedding for 15 minutes of fame.
posted by scarabic at 8:47 AM on February 18, 2005

true, biffa, I forgot that "ethical concerns" and "UK tabloids" usually aren't mentioned in the same sentence, unless the words "shocking lack" are also included. ;-)
posted by Vidiot at 8:54 AM on February 18, 2005

Yeah, scarabic said everything I was trying to type, but better. [grumble]

It's your wedding, fella; you can't really want the Fleet Street Leeches around, can you? Making absolutely sure that you understand your position in a wedding queue is more important the wedding itself?

Unless they offer you a serious wad, in which case, you can go in, cancel at the last minute and run off to get married in the Bahamas instead. Result!
posted by NinjaPirate at 8:54 AM on February 18, 2005

(I'm not a member of the British sunday press, YMMV) No problem letting the guy tape your conversation, they will misquote you anyway, out of sheer laziness, or just because they had you scheduled for the "fun" story and what you say isn't "fun" enough. No, really. So get used to that idea.

Yes, interviews are usually free, but if it's a so called 'production' (like in a glossy), it's not unheard of to offer some cash (or the clothes worn for the photoshoot if there's to be any).

Try to find out more what they want (do they want to make a story about you or do tey want to sneak in some hidden cameras when you go and prepare your wedding - before C & C's marriage - and come collect them afterwards? a "proposal" sounds fishy), it makes it easier to give you some more useful advice. If they do want to pull some stunt: squeeze them for all they've got (they'll make a killing), and get a lawyer to make sure you're covered.

Congrats on the wedding by the way!
posted by NekulturnY at 8:56 AM on February 18, 2005

And heck, if they come to you with something really dodgy, you could always take it up with the Press Complaints Commission.
posted by Vidiot at 9:06 AM on February 18, 2005

I'd ignore them all. Planning, and particularly taking part in a marriage, will take all your concentration and energy and good will, and then some, and you'll need to be focused.

At some point this has the potential to develop into a situation where you will have to start making choices about dividing your attention between the media and any 'propsals' they may make on the one hand, and your SO and families on the other, and that is not a choice you will want to have to make.

It may be attractive to have some attention now, but this may cause regrets later on, when you realize that you were not focused on the day.
posted by carter at 9:21 AM on February 18, 2005

You know, ultimately, they're just another couple ahead of you in line trying to get married. They don't want the media there. They don't want to muck up your wedding. Don't muck up theirs.
posted by onhazier at 10:11 AM on February 18, 2005

I'd be very careful if I was you. I'm sure that the story will be fine, but you must remember that for the tabloids this is the biggest story of the year so far. They'll happily step on your throat to get a better view of the prince, even if it is you special day.

If you can get money out of them it might compensate for the huge amount of inconvenience you're about to suffer - just be careful you don't increase their sense of entitlement to wreck things for you.

Have you heard anything about security arrangements? Will people need some kind of ID to get in?

Isn't bonaldi a newspaper man? I'm sure he'll have some good advice.
posted by dodgygeezer at 10:20 AM on February 18, 2005

Response by poster: ok, Ninja Pirate made me laugh, nice one.
NekulturnY - thank you very much!

I met with the sunday paper guy. He asked the questions we have been getting all day.. Who are you? How long have you been together, what do you do, why the guildhall etc..

He gave me his proposal which I have practically forgotten because it involved us switching to the same day as the royals.

"You're having a laugh aren't you?"
"I didn't think you'd go for it."
"You've never arranged a wedding before have you?

end of interview. made me laugh.
Then I got a call from another daily.

Don't worry I am in no way going to risk sullying my day but we might as well enjoy this bit of fun.

dodgygeezer, we are getting married the day after. I think we will only have to contend with a few tourists snapping photo's when we come out.

Hell, you all know where and when, come along and throw some rice !
posted by Frasermoo at 10:33 AM on February 18, 2005

You know, you probably don't want the tabloids around. It would be interesting if you could somehow hook up with the royal entourage and offer to help from the situation you're in: "Is there anything I can do to help you guys out?"

The theory being, it's better to have Charles & Co. owing you a favor than a sleasy "journalist".
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:39 AM on February 18, 2005

Hell, you all know where and when, come along and throw some rice !
Thanks, and have a fantabulous day!

posted by carter at 10:53 AM on February 18, 2005

My advice would be that you should never underestimate how seriously a future mother-in-law will take her daughter's wedding, and that you should avoid any sort of spectacle that will "ruin everything" and earn you a lifetime of emnity from your in-laws.
posted by cardboard at 2:12 PM on February 18, 2005

Congratulations, Frasermoo!

To be honest, my only advice is to trust any journalist as far as you can throw them. They will misquote you if that's the angle they're looking for. It would have taken a significant amount of money to allow any intrusion into my own wedding.
posted by salmacis at 3:04 PM on February 18, 2005

Response by poster: thanks. after i'd spoken to the last paper, a tv company phoned up saying they want to bring a crew round and film us going through our plans and stuff...

our survey said...


enough is enough. it was a nice distraction from friday afternoon in the office! I've gotta get focused and get on with marrying my love.

(still open for proper cash = CBR600RR...etc..)
posted by Frasermoo at 6:57 PM on February 18, 2005

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