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When News Breaks, Respond Fast

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Responding to breaking news is the easiest way to get exposure in the media.  The story will be covered in the media, so it is about how fast the organization or leader can quickly jump into the conversation.  Timing matters, so there is less opportunity for a committee to meet or to have an organizational discussion on the message.

The media often references Twitter trends to identify those who can speak on a topic and have a following.  When news breaks, it is important to come out strong with a Twitter message or on-message applications for journalists.

Editors, talk-show bookers, or producers often have the names of subject-area experts who they call on.  If your organization is not on a call list, break into the news cycle by letting them know you are commenting on the issue and are available through email, text, or direct message on social media.

To get booked and respond quickly, the format can be as simple as: 

  • Available for Interviews on (Name the breaking event)
  • Interviewee Name
  • Credential (leader, organization, or other relevant information)
  • Contact: Phone, Email, Skype, message applications
  • (Name) is available for interviews or comments on the (event name) today.   
  • Quote

The biggest challenge of getting into the news cycle is timing.   There is often a warning of the event. In this case, a leader’s availability can be sent out in advance, with a statement to the media, such as Organization Name will be providing interviews and speakers on the court decision this week.

When you are uncertain about the outcome of an event, it is possible to write messages for all possible outcomes so the organization or government office is ready.

Consider upcoming news events by creating messages in advance:

  • Court case decisions
  • Government announcements
  • Introduction of governmental legislation or votes
  • Government budget battles
  • Election comments or debates on your issue
  • Release of government reports or major studies

Some events are difficult to anticipate.  However, standard language can be prepared for:

  • Disasters
  • Crimes that affect your issues
  • Controversial comments by political or government leaders that require a response
  • Announcements by major businesses, celebrities, or cultural leaders that impact your issue

Organization and message preparation will ensure that leaders are ready for breaking news when it happens.