Media Relations for Naturists

Getting media coverage (pun intended) is very easy for naturists. Journalists love to expose us (pun intended, again) because it gets great ratings and lots of clicks. For naturism it provides a lot of great publicity. But many naturists are leery to speak to the media because they’re afraid to look bad. In this episode we consider who/what is the media with media critic Jesse Brown and review strategies for dealing with journalists.

Summary of the Media Relations Advice from the Show

Know your topic and practice – understand (don’t memorize) the answers to typical questions. Use one of the many FAQs that exist. Here is the Bare Oaks one:

Prepare key messages. But do answer their actual question. To ignore a question just to make your statement is frustrating to the journalist and can make you look bad. Just practice smoothly incorporating your key messages into some of your answers. My key messages: #1 – Naturism is a centuries-old philosophy (ie. It’s well established and more than just being naked) #2 – Naturism is family-oriented (therefore not about sex)

Journalists are people too – Their job is to ask the questions the audience wants to know. Don’t take the questions personally. Don’t be defensive. If they like you, they’re more likely to present you favourably. Don’t embarrass them or make fun of them but remember you are the expert, not them. There’s nothing wrong with pointing out errors or calmly disagreeing. Everyone is biased and it’s up to you to provide balance.

Humour is a common way that people deal with discomfort. Don’t take the jokes personally. Have fun with them too and be prepared with your own jokes. Humour can also be a good way to point out the ridiculousness of clothing. e.g. “does your bathing suit keep you dry?”

Don’t say “no comment” (it seems suspicious and it is frustrating for journalists) but don’t speculate or lie either. You don’t always have to know the answer. Acknowledge problems but avoid repeating negatives.

Give brief response when possible as it makes it easier for them to edit and your “sound bite” is more likely to make it into the final cut.

Respond quickly to any media inquiries – timelines and deadlines are tight! Make sure all people in your organization know to pass on inquiries to you and that they understand the urgency.

Take all interview requests – they’re telling the story with or without you. If you participate at least you have a chance to give your side. But yes, there is definitely such a thing as bad press. You’re trying to soften it but you can’t always prevent it.

No matter how much you think you have a good relationship with a journalist, don’t rely on “off the record” discussions. They’re doing a job and it is difficult for them to resist publishing juicy info. At the very least, remember that the journalist must agree to your request to be off the record. You can’t demand it unilaterally.

Links to items mentioned in the show:

Photo: Stéphane Deschênes on CITY-TV’s Breakfast Television show, February 5, 2021

Episode CXXX

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Naturist Waterpark

Having a naturist day at a waterpark seems natural but the logistics are complicated. We hear three stories, from the UK, United States, and Canada, about renting waterparks with differing levels of success. In all cases, false rumours, unfounded fears, protests, negative publicity, and even threats have caused problems for the organizers.

Links to items mentioned in the show:

Photo by British Naturism

Episode CXXIX

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Censorship in Social Media

Naturists are constantly censored in social media. Naturism itself gets lumped in with pornography despite the fact that Naturists oppose it, fight for body acceptance, against hypersexualization, and are trying to stop the objectification of the naked form. Yet social media censorship is increasing. “Community Standards” are ethnocentric, vague, and inconsistently applied. There seems to be one set of rules for celebrities and big advertisers; another for Naturists. When rules are erroneously applied there is essentially no appeal process.

We interview a number of victims of social media censorship:

  • Amy, a mom who is not a naturist but still has had several pictures of her children deleted
  • Felicity and Jordan of Young Naturist America, who were one of the first naturist social media influencers and experienced incredible frustration as the constant nonsensical censorship.
  • Héctor Martínez, from Mexico, who promoted body acceptance had well over a million followers on YouTube. His entire account and all his work was deleted without notice.
  • Cleo, who runs Topless Topics, is a feminist who fights for equality. She discusses anything while topfree. While a man would have no problem, she has been censored, deleted, and banned so many times she can’t count it.
  • Nick and Lins of Naked Wanderings, who try to make a living as social media influencers in naturism. As Europeans (they’re from Belgium) they are dumbfounded by the puritanical rules and their income has been deeply affected by the censorship and bans. In 2019, their Instagram account was deleted without warning – they lost 50,000 followers!

Links to items mentioned in the show:

Photo: 2009 FQN-FCN Naturist Festival at Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park

World Radio Day 2021 Official Soundtrack at the beginning of the episode: “New World, New Radio.” by Chapelier Fou.


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Family Nudist History

What if you grew up hearing that your great, great, grandfather was known as Rudy The Nudie? That is exactly the experience of Evan Nix who was intrigued enough to start doing some research. He tells us the story of Rudolph Johnson who was a prominent nudist and president of the American Sunbathing Association (ASA and today known as AANR) in 1950-51. You will hear how his research took him from mere curiosity to active naturist participation for his whole family.

Links to items mentioned in the show:

Photo: Rudolph Johnson and his great, great, grandson, Evan Nix

Episode CXXVII

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NAK-ED Documentary

Many people are under the impression that those who live in Scandinavian countries are very comfortable with nudity. Yet Jan Dalchow, a Norwegian film director, felt enough body shame that he created a documentary about it. In this episode he shares with us how his investigation into why he is ashamed of his own naked body resulted in a film. His journey took him through Europe and the west coast of North America where he learned a lot about both the meaning of nudity and society’s need to censor it.

Links to items mentioned in the show:

Photo: Promotional images provided by the NAK-ED Documentary

Episode CXXVI

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