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Working with
Media in Crisis
Situations
High Profile Crises In Corporate Life
Four Workers Shot in Office
Dispute
Northeast
Columbus
Three Injured
In Police Melee...
Megatrials
Fire at Great White Gig; Nearly 100 Dead
by Josh Grossberg
At least 95 people are confirmed dead and more than ...
Working with the Media in Crisis






Overview: the presence of media and its effect on
staff, police, neighbors, vend...
Media and a Crisis

Crisis is a media staple, driven by
audience demand
 News is by its very nature bad news
 Media go a...
Likely Crises
 Fires,

earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, etc.
 Sexual harassment allegations
 Disgruntled workers, mass m...
What This Means for First Responders,
Executives,
Owners & Managers

A media-intensive case can occur in
anywhere
 Stonew...
The “ Verdict ”

Every company must engage the media
with a structured media relations plan in
order to achieve balance
Today’s Media Are a Key Stroke Away
Tellem Crisis Clients in Small Towns
or Far Away Places
 Vatican
 Santa

Maria
 Toronto
 Maryland
 Monterey Park
 Co...
Situational Analysis
Some

small towns, first responders
and companies lack resources and
manpower to deal with media
Ma...
Goals

Satisfy public’s right-to-know without
compromising case or victim’s rights
 Alleviate media overload with printed...
Actions To Take


Media Relations
 Draft press statement
 Create and/or update media database
 Distribute information ...
Possible Actions


Press Briefings
 Discuss likely subject matter
 Assisting media in logistics
 Confirm format and lo...
Results

Media inquiries redirected to PR team or
consultant relieve manager and staff
 Media assured of receiving latest...
A Game Plan









Confirm goals and priorities
Identify required actions
Create timeline
Establish ground rules...
Media Protocol








Establish recurring methods of contact
 Releases or statements
 Website, text messages, Twitt...
Positive Outcomes

Control of hearsay, rumor, character
assassination
 Company can focus on other work
 Openness and hon...
Conclusions

“Crisis” can occur anywhere
 Media overload has negative effect on day
to day operations and staff
 Must ha...
NFPA Presentation - Working with the Media
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NFPA Presentation - Working with the Media

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How to work with media in a crisis situation presented at the National Fire Protection Association meeting in Las Vegas.

Published in: Business, News & Politics
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Transcript of "NFPA Presentation - Working with the Media"

  1. 1. Working with Media in Crisis Situations
  2. 2. High Profile Crises In Corporate Life Four Workers Shot in Office Dispute Northeast Columbus Three Injured In Police Melee Hunt On For Arsonist in Seattle Buenos Aires Nightclub Fire Kills 180 WEST WARWICK, Rhode Island (CNN) – Striking Firemen Bring Public Safety to a Standstill Only big names or big cities?
  3. 3. Megatrials Fire at Great White Gig; Nearly 100 Dead by Josh Grossberg At least 95 people are confirmed dead and more than 100 injured after a fastmoving blaze swept through a Rhode Island nightclub Thursday night during a concert by '80s heavy metal band Great White. More than 200 people had packed The Station nightclub in the town of West Warwick, 15 miles south of Providence, when the fire broke out at about 11 p.m., as the rockers took the stage. A pyrotechnics display sparked the fire that quickly engulfed the club, sending fans scurrying for the exits. Major Population Centers No Longer Required
  4. 4. Working with the Media in Crisis    Overview: the presence of media and its effect on staff, police, neighbors, vendors, the public at large Guidelines: Create and execute a media relations plan to minimize damage and preserve reputations Experts (Your Team): PIO, public relations crisis expert, law enforcement, inside crisis team, legal, CEO, Chief
  5. 5. Media and a Crisis Crisis is a media staple, driven by audience demand  News is by its very nature bad news  Media go anywhere at any time to uncover, develop and sustain a story  A crisis can be local to international in its scope  Just like death and taxes, crises are inevitable 
  6. 6. Likely Crises  Fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, etc.  Sexual harassment allegations  Disgruntled workers, mass murders  Corporate scandals  Ethical transgressions – cooking the books  Drugs, gangs, crime  Strikes  High profile court cases
  7. 7. What This Means for First Responders, Executives, Owners & Managers A media-intensive case can occur in anywhere  Stonewalling and “no comment” don’t work  Lack of engagement is passivity which invites “media frenzy”  You can be overwhelmed, discredited or demoralized if you do not have a crisis plan to handle the media 
  8. 8. The “ Verdict ” Every company must engage the media with a structured media relations plan in order to achieve balance
  9. 9. Today’s Media Are a Key Stroke Away
  10. 10. Tellem Crisis Clients in Small Towns or Far Away Places  Vatican  Santa Maria  Toronto  Maryland  Monterey Park  Costa Rica
  11. 11. Situational Analysis Some small towns, first responders and companies lack resources and manpower to deal with media Managers and staff can be overwhelmed This can create an unfavorable reaction with the public and customers Rumor and hearsay rampant
  12. 12. Goals Satisfy public’s right-to-know without compromising case or victim’s rights  Alleviate media overload with printed statements as handouts  Coordinate any direct contact staff with the media (have strict rules about talking to press)  Work closely with legal counsel 
  13. 13. Actions To Take  Media Relations  Draft press statement  Create and/or update media database  Distribute information in a timely manner  Field media inquiries quickly  Talk and meet one on one with local press via a press briefing  Work hand in hand with legal counsel
  14. 14. Possible Actions  Press Briefings  Discuss likely subject matter  Assisting media in logistics  Confirm format and location  Drafting FAQs  Follow-up  Collect cards  Activate Google alerts
  15. 15. Results Media inquiries redirected to PR team or consultant relieve manager and staff  Media assured of receiving latest and most complete information  Press briefings focused and informative  Improved coordination between media, PR, legal, executive team 
  16. 16. A Game Plan         Confirm goals and priorities Identify required actions Create timeline Establish ground rules Designate spokesperson (not Chief or CEO) Media prep as appropriate and feasible Establish contact with media Consider advertising, letters to the editor where info can be controlled
  17. 17. Media Protocol     Establish recurring methods of contact  Releases or statements  Website, text messages, Twitter, Facebook, Apps  Database distribution Build and update database (they’ll come to you) Return calls promptly, but manage expectations on big news days Learn the value of “no news” to media
  18. 18. Positive Outcomes Control of hearsay, rumor, character assassination  Company can focus on other work  Openness and honesty conveyed through media engagement  More useful information, more quickly to media—win/win 
  19. 19. Conclusions “Crisis” can occur anywhere  Media overload has negative effect on day to day operations and staff  Must have a media relations plan prior to a crisis  Must consider internal resources  Deal with media in a professional, effective manner 

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