It is no longer enough for businesses to issue press releases or statements whenever they anticipate a change, disruption or potential crisis.
The recent additional number prefix to Metro Manila phone numbers, for example, necessitated a multimedia approach—text messages, print ads, twitter notices and so on.
But what media should businesses emphasize or use primarily? Should they concentrate on social media since that’s where most everybody seems to be?
We asked our resource person on multimedia crisis communication, Connie Kalagayan, for her tips and insights on managing multimedia communication, specifically during a potential or actual crisis situation.
Traditional media still has a place
In crisis situations, businesses should consider communicating their key messages customized for different stakeholders and disseminated to multimedia.
By having this approach, you cover all your audiences in the medium or platform where they are engaged, and messages are communicated to them on a personal level.
In the social media age, everyone gives their opinion and while this can be addressed within the medium it occurs, official statements of a company in distress becomes more credible if it is carried by BOTH traditional and social media.
Have a unified message, but tweak accordingly
A company should have a unified and single-minded message but tweaked in different styles to conform to the different multimedia platforms.
Messages should be customized to resonate to different target markets or audiences.
For your internal audience, you could have different avenues such as emails, town hall meetings, general assemblies, intimate meetings, designed
to encourage open forums and Q&A.
This will help you assess the sentiments of your employees and address them accordingly.
For your external audience, you can draft short key messages that you can use for twitter, Facebook and the like.
Videos or live interviews can be utilized for TV, audio recording for radio, photos for print.
Update as frequently as you can, but…
The frequency of messages depends on how fast you can give updates on an on-going crisis.
The speed of relaying messages is as important as the content and the sincerity and empathy of your narrative.
Always be transparent and direct in your communication, wherever it may be.