The Glassroth Company
Establish yourself as a credible information source from the first day.

Crisis Management: Working with the Media
  • Establish yourself as a credible information source from the first day
  • Provide one face to the media as gatekeeper and primary spokesperson
  • Provide frequent updates and avoid long gaps between contacts
  • Be prepared to answer hard questions
  • If an issue is outside your expertise, say so
  • Be available to take calls and conduct interviews 24/7
  • The news doesn't stop on the weekend – reach out to weekend media
  • Don't expose your spokespeople to the media without the proper training
  • Develop key messages and stick to them, even when the media pushes its agenda
  • Monitor media coverage and correct inaccuracies quickly


 Communications Trends

Blogs – Over the last few years, blogs have grown from an outlet for tech-savvy geeks to something that will shortly be a mainstream communication vehicle. Corporations and even the media are using blogs as part of their marketing strategies. They've even become a channel for breaking news as happened when a group of bloggers uncovered the inaccuracies in Dan Rather's report on President Bush's National Guard service.

Marketing professionals are beginning to integrate blogs into the media mix, instead of considering them a stand-alone entity. But, blogs are not appropriate for every communications program and those who use this technology need to be mindful of the role it plays and its place in a marketing/communications strategy.

Media Transparency – Traditional media's credibility has suffered over the past few years and some outlets are considering new ways to regain the trust of readers and viewers. The objective is to involve them in the news gathering process…but as observers, not participants. For example, Business Week recently began offering weekly podcasts about each issue's cover story, which include interviews with the magazine's reporters and editors to offer insights into the story behind the cover story.

The objective is to make the media a bit more intimate and less haughty, and narrow the distance between themselves and their audiences.

Growth of Ethnic (particularly Hispanic) Media – On any newsstand in the country you can see examples of American media's segmentation aimed at mothers, surfers, golfers, teen-agers, celebrity news junkies, and an entire range of ethnic media…especially so with media aimed at the rapidly growing Hispanic community.

In every one of the country's top-ten markets, there is a daily Hispanic newspaper and at least one radio station directed to Hispanics. In many, there is also a television station catering to this sector. Sports Illustrated and even ESPN have Spanish-speaking networks.   

For marketers, this trend signals both an opportunity and a warning to understand the cultural sensitivities of these disparate market segments before trying to harness their growing power. 

Portability of Content – "Podcasts" is a word – non-existent five years ago – we use almost every day. That change is the result, not of society's need, but of technology's ability to drive demand.

Technology is at the root of many current media trends. Not long ago, news could be viewed or heard from one's living room or other stationary location housing a TV or radio. Today, you can carry news and entertainment in your pocket with an iPod (or other MP3 device) or cell phone.  And the younger the market/audience, the easier it is to reach it through emerging technologies. Indeed, in some cases it's the only way.

Print Media Digitalization – When The New York Times announced that it would merge the operations of its digital and print news, it signaled the last step in the evaporation of the line between print and online content. Prior to this action, online content served as an adjunct to print. Although print publications will survive, in the future, according to experts in the field, the reverse will be true. 

Media Consolidation – The model of one media company owning outlets across multiple channels isn't new. Those who follow the industry recognize that this trend toward consolidation is likely to be the norm for some time. 

Some believe that, in the absence of government regulation of media consolidation, the only form of checks and balances is technology. As an example, they point to the rise of satellite radio as the result of the market's search for an alternative to the standardization of radio stations – in both style and content – which was the end-product of the rampant consolidation in radio. 

Disintermediation – The merging of technology and the 24-hour news cycle has increased the amount of news available to consumers. The result is that consumers are less interested in the source of information than the content. The average consumer can no longer tell the difference between the news release and the news story, especially on the web.    

For communicators and marketers, this presents an opportunity since consumers – while still concerned with authenticity – will not rely as much on traditional media.   

Real Simple Syndication (RSS) – This rapidly growing technology is becoming the preferred way for many business people to receive information and is on the verge of widespread use. 

With an increasing number of ISPs rejecting e-mails based on a certain threshold number from a given source, marketers are moving toward this new technology that allows them to syndicate headlines to subscribers and websites.