Keeping control of your message in a crisis situation can be challenging. Facts and misinformation fly fast and furious. Externally and internally the feeling is that control is being lost and you are running to even catch up let alone getting ahead of a fast-moving crisis. Getting the media to share your message will go a long way in damping down the chaos and will be the first step in getting control back of the situation. Here are several tips for getting the media to carry your message in a fast-moving crisis:
Identify your strongest relationships, across several channels. Cementing several strong relationships with the media is vital at times like this but the work needs to be done prior to a fast-moving crisis.
Keep the media informed by developing your narrative. Communicate as often as possible through updated statements to keep the media abreast of what is being done to fix the issue. Being seen as a reliable source of news in a fast-moving crisis will influence coverage.
Make your narrative simple and straightforward. Keep your eye on the coverage and the reaction to that coverage. This will help you to course correct as you go to ensure you are addressing the most important elements of the crisis with your audience.
Don’t forget social media. Make sure all of your owned channels are communicating the narrative step-by-step as well with links to the updated statements. Do not let your team get bogged down in responses on social. Pick 1 or 2 comments/replies and respond to those.
Be as transparent as possible. State the truth and always focus on the steps you are taking to address the issue. Keep your messages forward focused.