Importance of Media Emergency Playbooks

media emergency

Media relations is an important thing to consider during a PR emergency.

It is extremely important to establish relationships with local media agencies so that they can provide people with information when they need it most, particularly during a crisis.

It is important to establish relationships with media agencies before a crisis. It is also important to understand the deadlines that journalists have to work around, and to accommodate those deadlines.

A media emergency response plan is essential. It is not difficult to make one with a little bit of planning. Given below are tips for an effective media response plan.

Create a Crisis Communications Team

There should always be a separate team of employees dedicated to managing crises. The members should include a representative from the communications team.

The responsibilities of each member should be clearly stated, particularly the responsibility of who speaks on behalf of the organization during a crisis.

Create a List of Probable Crisis Scenarios

An organization can face more than one type of crisis. A crisis management plan should include scenarios that cover all facets of an organization.

The plan should be developed by the members of the crisis management team. A properly documented plan serves as a guide for making decisions and taking actions during a crisis.

For instance, if an organization sells apple juice, think of lawsuits that might take place as a result of possible E.coli infection.

Keep Written Statements Ready

Organizations always need statements that they can use during a crisis that address the media and the public.

These statements demonstrate that an organization is taking an issue seriously and will definitely look into the matter. The statements should not be detailed or explanatory.

The statement given at the beginning is sometimes called a holding statement.

The holding statement is usually followed by an update which could be released hours or even a day later, and should include content on how the organization is dealing with the crisis.

Get Approvals for Statements

The statements should be circulated among the legal team and relevant executives of a company before the crisis actually occurs.

This should be done to get the approval of these personnel, as circulating the statements among them during a crisis might cause a delay . This also saves time.

A quick response helps to prevent the reputation of an organization from getting tarnished, too. It can also impact the response of the public positively.

Update and Review the Plan

The content of any crisis management plan, including the written statements, should be reviewed regularly. It should also be updated so that it remains current and valid.

After an actual crisis, it is essential to review what worked and what didn’t, so that the plan can be updated to be more effective.

Matthew Caiola serves as Co-CEO at 5W Public Relations, managing the overall growth, direction and day-to-day business of the Corporate & Technology Communications Divisions and Digital Marketing.

With more than 17 years of PR experience, Matthew leads teams in launching and building high-growth tech companies, disrupting industries, building global brand resonance through thought leadership, C-Suite profiling, and speakers’ programs, as well as crisis communications across a variety of industries.