Media Training Tips: Preparing for a Crisis

It’s the plan you hope you’ll never need but one every business should have.  How to engage the media in the event of a crisis?

Whether it’s a product failure, a financial meltdown, a fatality in the workplace or a fire, everyone from receptionist through to CEO should understand their role, be aware of the chain of command and stick to it.

Perhaps the most important media training lesson has always been to act quickly in a crisis. However with the rise of social media, the pressure to keep ahead of twitter, Facebook, Youtube and other social media platforms has never been greater.  It’s very difficult to keep witnesses and staff quiet when everyone has a mobile phone in their pocket.

For example, pictures of the Hudson River crash in New York were posted on Youtube by members of the public before the airline was able to verify what had happened.

When things go bad the media develops an insatiable appetite for information.  Journalists want a villain, they want victims and they want regular information updates.  Silence sporns rumours that can ultimately become more damaging than the crisis itself.

TOP TIPS FOR MANAGING THE MEDIA IN A CRISIS

  • Respond – quickly
  • Select your spokespeople carefully
  • Show you care for those affected
  • Offer reassurance
  • Explain what you are doing
  • Monitor the situation
  • Be consistent
  • Update the media regularly

 

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