Ollie, a specialist in communication communication training and crisis communication, was asked to give his tips for handling the media in a crisis.
Media Relations and Media Training
Ollie Wilson is also expert in media training, media relations and crisis communication training.
Below is a scan of the published article and a transcript:
Business Bite-sized Chunks – How to Handle the Media in a Crisis
By Ollie Wilson
In my career as a journalist and PR man, I have seen many a crisis befall companies and organisations – and advised the people at the top on what to do.
No two crises are the same but it is vital to put plans in place to help you handle bad news and unexpected events.
Do a risk analysis of what could adversely affect your business. You may not think of all the possibilities but it is a first step to creating a crisis management plan.
In each scenario, ask: who would need to know what, and when would they need to know it? Who should be in the “crisis management team”? Who would the spokesperson or spokespersons be? And how would you make sure that clear, accurate and consistent messages are communicated to the media?
At MatchFit Media, we run “table-top exercises” to give organisations experience at handling crises, setting a series of scenarios to put a crisis management team through its paces. Their performance is analysed and lessons learned.
For many in business, the media may appear scary at the best of times. We train people so they are at the top of their game when interviewed.
In a crisis, companies and organisations can see journalists as hostile interlopers when they are merely doing their jobs.
Treat journalists politely and professionally and they will respect you for it. Remember, it is the journalist’s role to get to the facts of a story and to obtain the viewpoints of the key people involved.
Communicating the right information to people inside your organisations is also vital. You do not want your team to feel out of the loop because they are learning things first from the media.
- Ollie Wilson provides crisis support and crisis management and has expertise in communication training, media relations training and crisis communications training