One IT director from a top 50 UK company said that media management is part of the job today and that with a bit of media savoir faire the press can be used to push forward a user's agenda.
Pushing issues with suppliers, campaigning on legislation and providing a forum for disparate groups are all functions of the IT press, the audience was told.
Agreeing to speak with journalists and contributing opinions can also help you to build your personal reputation as a mover and shaker in the industry.
And should you by chance find yourself dealing with an unwelcome news story, the audience was told that it is better to put your side of the story to journalists, rather than declining to comment, which is often interpreted by readers as an implicit admission of guilt.
Computer Weekly's 500 Club is an invitation only club for IT directors from the UK's top 500 companies.