Rapid response 101: Speak up or shut up?

May 18, 2022 Laura Garofalo

📰 There’s been no shortage of world news for two straight years. 

😷  Covid variants and mass death;
⛈️ 🌪️ Climate change and irreparable storm damage;
🔥 Wildfires and poor air quality;
🚔  Hate crimes and police brutality; 
🔓  Data breaches and privacy issues;
👨‍⚖️  Human injustices and inequalities;
🔮  And now, possibly, a new world war and an even more unpredictable future

💬  When these events happen, a lot of companies debate whether or not they should speak up or shut up. 

🌟 Here are our three golden rules when it comes to rapid response media opportunities: 

🚨 Don’t ambulance chase. It’s never okay to exploit a tragedy. And we don’t recommend trying to capitalize on another company’s bad news. It could be you at the center of controversy one day, right? Instead of pointing blame, find ways to educate your audience. 

🦸 Be a hero, not the villain. Most of our clients, particularly those who work in security, have refrained from commenting on the situation unfolding in Ukraine. Instead, they’re helping with threat research behind the scenes or offering services at discounted rates for affected customers.

⚖️ Balance speed with authenticity. Timing + expertise = the winning rapid response formula. 

PR only works if you have a point of view. And not every CEO or founder is willing to jump into the fray of topics related to politics and policy. That said, contributing to the national discussion about topics core to your business is an authentic way to participate in a non-controversial way. Just remember to stick to the facts and make sure your reaction isn’t based on emotion. Before you insert your perspective, ask yourself these questions: 

☑️  What’s most significant about this news event?
☑️  What unique point of view do we have about what happened? 
☑️  What repercussions should we anticipate?
☑️  What can be learned from the incident? 
☑️  Why should people care about this?


Topics: Media Relations, Content Strategy, Corporate Communications, rapid response, world news
Laura Garofalo

Laura is the vice president of marketing at Inkhouse.

Read more from Laura Garofalo

To subscribe to the InkHouse Inklings blog, and for other thought leadership content just add your email address:



InkHouse has been recognized by:
  • TPTW_2019_grey
  • inc-bwp-2019-standard-logo
  • women-led-business-logo-1
  • PRNews_TopPlaces