Posts tagged ‘Online Communication’

5 Mistakes to Avoid in a Crisis

Trying to avoid a crisis with the media may be well and good, but the fact is that a crisis can not always be avoided. When one does occur, it is essential to know how to handle it, and, as importantly, what you should not do.

Le policiers ont repoussé les personnes bloquées dans bellecour.
Creative Commons License photo credit: biloud43

1. Ignore the problem
One of the most common reactions to a crisis is to ignore it and hope it goes away. This rarely works, especially when it is a media crisis. When you have a crisis, you must meet it head on and deal with it immediately.

2. Not changing your decision making model
One of the most common mistakes organizations make is to try to overcome the problem by working harder. Whenever there is a communication crisis, a team that is already overworked suddenly must take on even more of a burden. To effectively deal with the crisis, new decision making protocols must be established. In some cases, you may need to form a completely separate Media Relations Handbook, by Bradford Fitchcommunications team to specifically address that crisis.

3. Allowing lawyers to direct public relations policy
While it may be advisable to have the best attorney representing you if you go to court, when you are facing a crisis in the media you need an expert on the court of public opinion. Choose the right advocate to handle the right battleground.

4. Withholding information
If you attempt to withhold information, it will eventually come out. When that happens, it will add to the crisis and make it appear as if you are trying to hide something.

5. Not immediately correcting errors
The public understands that people are human and will, from time to time, make mistakes. When a mistake is made during a communications crisis, it is going to be amplified. If you say something erroneous, do not hesitate to correct it immediately. Failure to do so will only cause reporters to believe that you misled them on purpose. The result? They might just tell a few million listeners or readers that you deliberately deceived them. It is far better to come clean and own up to your mistake and correct it on your own.

To learn more about how to effectively handle a media crisis, consider TheCapitol.Net’s Advanced Media Relations Workshop.

Reference: Media Relations Handbook, by Brad Fitch, Section 12.15 Eight Mistakes to Avoid in a Crisis

For more information about media training from TheCapitol.Net, see these resources:

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The Importance of Online Communication for Advocacy and Legislative Affairs

Politics as a whole has been completely transformed by the emergence of the Internet. While pre-Internet forms of media still continue to dominate Washington, there is little doubt that online communication is having an impact. Today the Internet and associated online tools of email, blogs and other social media are considered to be indispensable tools for anyone involved in public affairs. These cost-effective methods are able to reach millions of people almost instantly.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Marc_Smith

There are several important differences between older forms of media and newer, online forms of media. One of those differences is that online communication greatly increases the complexity of messages. While traditional forms of communication allowed for two or three core messages, we can now have multiple messages using online communication.

In addition, message delivery can now be completely unfiltered as a result of the ability to communicate online. This was not the case with traditional forms of media, in which communication was filtered directly by the media. While messages featured centralized control in the past, today that centralized control has been removed in online communication.

Another important difference between traditional forms of media and online communication is that interactive communication is now possible. The receiver can communicate with the sender. In the past, only one-way communication was possible. This has made it much easier for the public to become involved in issues that affect them on a daily basis.

In order to compete in today’s environment it is imperative that you have a comprehensive understanding of the tools available to you. Trying to navigate the world of public policy and politics while using strategies Media Relations Handbook, by Bradford Fitchfrom yesterday is one of the fastest ways you can find to be ignored.

Developing an online communication agenda ensures that each of your public policy issues blend seamlessly with your offline goals. These goals typically include the promotion of an agenda, increasing membership or followers, enhancing productivity, feeling invested in a cause, and raising money.

To find out more about how you can use online communication methods to further your cause or issue, consider TheCapitol.Net’s Media Relations for Public Affairs Professionals course and our Advanced Media Relations Workshop.

TheCapitol.Net also has Capitol Learning Audio Courses that can help you learn more about how best to use different tools and techniques to communicate more effectively.

For more information about media training from TheCapitol.Net, see these resources:

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