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Leveraging Media to Win in a Crisis What Does ‘Winning’ Really Mean? It Means Not Losing Reputation or Business Presented by Dix & Eaton Washington, DC, June 2010 Sponsored by: Overview: Two evolving trends that affect every crisis Success depends on how fast you can move

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slide1

Leveraging Media to Win in a Crisis

What Does ‘Winning’ Really Mean?

It Means Not Losing Reputation or Business

Presented by Dix & Eaton

Washington, DC, June 2010

Sponsored by:

slide2

Overview:

Two evolving trends that affect every crisis

Success depends on how fast you can move

You will need to make the media do their job

Take the offensive, at least once, or cede control

Sponsored by:

www.prnewsonline.com#mrf

slide3

Two Trends That Affect Every Crisis

How media cover breaking news is changing, as they report it faster but with uncritical attention

Worse, too often the media focus on the most salacious details, and not on the whole story

Sponsored by:

www.prnewsonline.com#mrf

slide4

Two Trends That Affect Every Crisis

Mainstream media remain hugely important as these drive much of the content for blogs which in turn drive much of the chatter on social networks

The relationship among all these media genres is not symbiotic, but rather incestuous as each will “report” on what the others are saying about you

Sponsored by:

www.prnewsonline.com#mrf

slide5

Two Trends That Affect Every Crisis

Whether news breaks or spreads via social media, the story goes viral and global in minutes perhaps before you even know all the details

So everyone may know “the story” but you must ensure it is correct right from the start or you will look defensive, which affects perceptions

Sponsored by:

www.prnewsonline.com#mrf

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Speed is the key to your success

Create a two-page plan outlining for everyone who will be involved in the crisis response, what gets done and by whom on just the first day

Parse out your actions in the first hour, e.g. assemble team, gather information, research coverage and more

Add a one-page checklist to map your responses literally hour by hour in that first day to make sure you cover every conceivable contingency

Sponsored by:

www.prnewsonline.com#mrf

slide7

Speed is the key to your success

You need so much that first day and most of it better be done before you are tested by a crisis:

Develop at least one corporate management blog

Establish and use Twitter and Facebook accounts

Create “dark” micro site for events on the web site

Populate site, e.g. with an “FAQ” you can modularize

Regularly prep spokespeople and those in front lines

Periodically emphasize your company media policy

Sponsored by:

www.prnewsonline.com#mrf

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Speed is the key to success

If you have these and more preparations in place, it should take you only minutes to get operational

When a crisis does break, explain fast what you know, what you’re doing, then update and repeat

Deliver messages across all possible channels including those you created well in advance

Sponsored by:

www.prnewsonline.com#mrf

slide9

Make the news media do their job

Media can make mistakes when reporting on breaking news but there is less or little concern now on ensuring factual accuracy in stories

There is such pressure on every media to report immediately on what happened that in their rush, reporters may not even contact you for response

Sponsored by:

www.prnewsonline.com#mrf

slide10

Make the news media do their job

In fact, depending on the others involved in the situation, media may rarely or never call you at all

Media hate admitting mistakes, but now they also may simply ignore corrected information

Sponsored by:

www.prnewsonline.com#mrf

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Make the news media do their job

Public is already skeptical of media, so call out media over fresh or perpetuated inaccuracies.

That means direct contact with media offenders but also wire distribution of a response outlining specific errors along with corrected information

Sponsored by:

www.prnewsonline.com#mrf

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Take the offensive, to take control

News is too important to be left to media, as their sole motivation is to get the story, whatever that is

At least once, consider holding a press briefing to update the situation and your response, correct errors in coverage and answer media questions

Sponsored by:

www.prnewsonline.com#mrf

slide13

Take the offensive, to take control

When all media have the same information, they are likely to get the story right – if not, offenders stand out – and coverage will be more neutral

If a crisis is protracted, you must subsequently consider leveraging credible media, particularly the wire services, for one or more exclusives

Sponsored by:

www.prnewsonline.com#mrf

slide14

Take the offensive, to take control

Wire service articles serve as one story across numerous print, broadcast and online media – but now also for all the news aggregators

That one story also serves to direct and drive future coverage from a wider number of media

Sponsored by:

www.prnewsonline.com#mrf

slide15

New Rules of Engagement

People care less about a reputation than whether it matches your actions when most needed

Explaining what you know and what you’re doing are part of your most immediate messages

Your response time now is a message that is as important as anything you actually say

Mainstream media will analyze your response, which more than most stories shapes perception

Some traditional rules always apply: be honest and transparent, think fast and move faster

Sponsored by:

www.prnewsonline.com#mrf

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Contact information:

Gary Wells

Dix & Eaton

200 Public Square, Suite 1400

Cleveland, Ohio 44114

1 216 241 0405

[email protected]

Sponsored by:

www.prnewsonline.com#mrf

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