When all news seems to be “breaking news,” rapid response is a critical tactic for PR and marketing pros. Our expert rapid responder, Lisa Mokaba, recently explained that the best way to handle rapid response is to channel the Fresh Prince and “jump on it.”
If you don’t act immediately, you’ve already missed the opportunity to insert your voice into a short conversation.
News audiences tune in for breaking news updates more frequently and from more devices than ever before. The American Press Institute found 33 percent of Americans read their news throughout the day, and 78 percent use their smartphone to get news.
Further, social media is climbing its way into the top spot as a news source thanks to millennials, as our Beth Monaghan noted in a recent post. Millennials are nearly evenly split between TV (28 percent) and social media (26 percent) as their primary source for news. But the trend is moving away from TV and toward social media. Facebook just announced it will begin directly hosting articles from leading news organizations, including NBC News and The New York Times.
Given this context for how readers are consuming news, we understand that edging into the news cycle requires rapid response. Strategically responding to breaking news, however, demands a balance of thoughtful foresight and planning and immediate action.
You never want to regret hitting send on an email to a reporter containing poorly crafted commentary so it’s important to develop a strong foundation for how your brand and its leadership fit into the ebb and flow of news in the industry.
Take the time to develop a unique perspective about what’s happening within your industry today and where it’s headed. Once the message is well-defined and understood by everyone at the company, your thought leaders can respond to breaking news with timely commentary that adds value to the developing story and reinforces your position in the market.
Here are three additional tips for rapid response:
Rapid response is a powerful tool to reach the media, but it requires planning to nail the choreography and win the audience.