munication channels helps prevent
and overcome employee uncertainty,
and encourages continuous and constructive dialogue.
Organizations that are unprepared
to work with traditional news media
during a crisis often experience intense
media scrutiny and negative coverage
that can easily lead to unfavorable
stakeholder perceptions and lasting
reputational and economic damage.
It is the media’s job to report crisis-related news, illuminate relevant issues,
influence issue portrayal and propose
solutions. While journalists generally seek to report news in an objective, fact-based and balanced manner,
today’s media environment is highly
competitive, and reporters must generate relevant information fast in order
to meet deadlines and stay ahead of
As you develop or update your cri-
sis communication plan, keep in mind
how you work with journalists and
other media representatives:
• Be ready when a journalist calls.
Because reporters may be unable to
wait until the company has gathered,
verified and officially communicated
crisis-related facts (What happened?
Where? When? Why? Who is affected?
What are the relevant concerns? What
is being done about it?), they may turn
to unofficial and less reliable sources.
Quickly coordinating the managerial, operational and communication
response to a crisis is critical, but
only designated spokespersons should
address the media.
• Build long-term relationships with
relevant journalists. Mutual familiarity
and trust will increase the likelihood of
fact-based and non-sensational reporting if a crisis does occur.
• View media interviews and news
conferences as valuable opportunities
News media crisis communication tips
1. Understand the role of the traditional news media and how they work.
2. Build long-term relationships with reporters long before a crisis hits.
3. Identify and train company spokespersons on a recurring basis.
4. Establish and follow a companywide media policy.
5. Get crisis-related facts out fast via carefully crafted messages.
6. View media interviews as valuable opportunities to convey key
7. Study reporters’ tendencies, previous stories and interview techniques.
8. Continuously monitor news coverage and correct the record as
9. Follow up with reporters as promised even if no new information
can be shared.
10. Provide recurring crisis communication training to crisis response teams.
following up with
if new information
is not available or
cannot be shared.