In the social media-driven news cycle, and especially in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, your company may likely experience a situation or incident that will garner media attention. Only designated spokespeople from your company should make statements to the media to ensure accuracy and consistent messaging. While your internal communications team is gathering information about what happened, media inquiries may begin and until a formal statement is issued, a designated spokesperson should respond to media and press inquiries with a preliminary holding statement. Here are some general do’s and don’ts that your company should follow in case of an emergency incident.
REMEMBER THESE DO’S AND DON’TS:
*Do contact 911 and follow all emergency procedures.
*Do cooperate with all first responders
*Do gather facts about what happened
*Do communicate with your crisis communications team
*Do make sure your information is accurate
*Do condense your information—saying less is often better
*Don’t say “no comment”
*Don’t go “off the record”
*Don’t assume the microphone or camera is turned off
*Don’t speculate about causes, next steps, etc.
*Don’t post on personal social media
*Don’t be pressured into giving speculative or additional information if not verified
Do you need help working with the media? Are you interested in media training for your team? Contact the Michael Best Strategies Public Affairs team to get the conversation started.