Monday, September 26, 2011

Oops, I did it again!

My biggest pet peeve is being unorganized. I like to have plans, back up plans, and back up for the back up plans. To me, this is essential for any PR practitioner, especially ones focusing in crisis communication. Even with the best crisis communication practitioner, there is always going to be something that happens where there isn’t a plan waiting to put into action. An example would be: What does one when the media gets it wrong?  
Good news, I found an article that gives seven things to do when the media gets it wrong! This article is by Brad Phillips and was posted on in the media relations section named "7 Things to do When the Media Gets it Wrong." Below I have decided to give my rendition/ shorter version of what Mr. Phillip had great insight on.

1. Show it to a neutral party. Tell the real story to a neutral group or crowd. They will be the ones with an unbiased opinion and will be able to reach the audience in a more positive and accepting manner. Compared to a party who is close to the story or company may just be stuck with the negative thoughts and opinions. Sharing the real story with closed minded people is like beating a dead horse; completely not worth your time or efforts.

2. Talk to the reporter/ editor. As the forefront of the company’s brand or image, you need to utilize the relationships with any and all reports to get the truth out in the public eye and hands. Get ahold of the media that reported the false story and when you get ahold of the reporter who published the wrong story, calmly tell them the facts and leave any emotions and opinions to the side. After you discuss the real facts of the story with the reporter to be republished, talk to the editor so future mistakes on story coverage can be avoided.

3. Write a response. Self-explanatory. Even if the reporter does reprint with the true details, it is better to be safe than sorry. Write a letter-to-the-editor or op-ed. Make sure to state what the real story is and do not repeat the false information, even for clarification. The repeating of the errors will gives them more media attention.

4. Cut off reporter/ Use social media.  Stop using the reporters to get to your audiences and just go to your key audiences yourself. Using social media is the best way to continue communicating with your key audiences. This includes your company’s: website and blog, and YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
Obviously, there will be different ways to handle each individual case, but if these tips are followed the wrong doing will be a lot easier to handle and hopefully reverse any damage that was an outcome of someone else’s (outside the company’s walls) error.

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