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How to successfully manage a media crisis

Posted by Clare Ravasini

How to successfully manage a media crisisTime is of the essence when managing a communications crisis and we all know things can change quickly when a media crisis hits. Knowing how to safely steer through the media storm is crucial to avoid your brand becoming a wreckage. Here are our 5 top tips to help you navigate the tempest.


How to weather the media storm in 5 easy steps:

1. Plan ahead
Don’t get stuck in a storm because you didn’t look ahead to see what was coming. Sometimes we might not be so lucky as to have choppy waves or looming dark clouds to give it away, but that’s when you should be relying on proactive measures such as a media monitoring tool to assist you in gauging any changes to your brand’s image. Be proactive. Not planning for a media crisis can result in serious damage.

2. Act quickly 
As soon as you notice a change in the weather be quick to act. You might read a damaging social media post or see a news article about your brand that is generating a lot of conversation online. The important thing to do is not freak out. Take a moment to gather your thoughts, speak with your communications team about how to respond –  or, if you’re feeling out of your depths, engage a media relations expert to help craft your message.

3. Investigate the situation
Make sure you know the whole truth and get both sides of the story. If someone has made an allegation against your brand, be sure to get your facts straights before responding. Understand the situation before making any comment to the media.

4. Take action
Once you’ve got all the facts and have assessed the situation, now you can formulate a response. Be sure to keep calm and don’t allow anger, frustration or contempt to be inflected in your voice. This will only diminish your trustworthiness and will inevitably result in another backlash from the public or media. Remember – the media is after a ‘story’ and what keeps it going is not necessarily the story itself but more to do with the reaction it triggers.

5. Monitor and learn
After the storm has passed get out and check to see how much damage has been done. Have a debrief with your team to take stock. What did you learn from the experience? What would you do differently next time? Are you ready should the storm hit again? 

With the right navigation you’ve survived the media storm and can now bring your ship back safely to harbour. You’ve learnt the basics on how to best predict the weather (as best as anyone reasonably can) and discovered the steps on how to handle a media crisis. With your anchor in place you now have time to plan ahead for the next storm and ensure your brand journey is a smooth one. 

To learn more about how to manage a communications crisis, read other blogs on crisis management or download our free checklist to learn more about managing your next crisis effectively.

Want more answers? We can help you to see more clearly during the media storm and uncover the right marketing tactics and message to deliver during a crisis - Book a free call now.

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This blog was written by Clare Ravasini

Clare joined imageseven in 2013. Since then, no two days have ever been the same and she has loved every minute. Clare considers herself an out-of-the box thinker, which serves her well in her work with a variety of clients. She’s got a spring in her step, always has a smile on her face and has a passion for all things creative. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors and loves living the country life with her horses.


Topics: Education, imageseven, Communication, Crisis management, Marcom, School marketing strategy, School marketing