Media Query Response Guide

Checklist 1 min
Follow these protocols to respond when the media starts inquiring.

Public Affairs professionals maintain public trust by keeping their units, commanders and the American people informed. A big part of that task is answering questions from media representatives. That way, when media representatives tell the story they want to tell, they have access to accurate information. A media query involves more than simply answering the questions the reporter prepares; there are several steps the PAO must complete. Follow this checklist to confirm nothing is missed when a media query comes in.

  1. Log all questions and information on a Response to Media Query form or, if you're Air Force, on AF IMT 39.
  2. Specify reporter deadline (date and time) by which responses need to be answered.
  3. Answer queries about your unit’s activities. Don’t respond to policy questions unless higher headquarters (HHQ) has provided public affairs guidance.
    1. Answer all media queries with maximum disclosure, minimum delay.
    2. Coordinate response with all interested parties.
    3. During a crisis, clear all responses with commander and HHQ before release.
  4. Forward all queries to HHQ for logging.
  5. Log all activities on a local events log and in the media query tracker.