CLEAR CHANNEL: Three steps to writing an effective reactive media statement

The ability to deal with a media query well should be weighed in gold.

The ability to deal with a comment that can deal with the media as well as social media should weighed in gold, cake, chocolate, likes and incoming comments.

This is why I really liked reading Molly McPherson’s book ‘Indestructible: Reclaim Control and Respond With Confidence In A Media Crisis.’

Often books around media relations can be undermined by being strong on traditional media but weak on the socials.

I’ve a lot of time for Alastair Campbell’s analysis of media but he’d be the first to acknowledge his way of dealing with the media belongs to an era.

What’s terrific with Molly’s book is the absolute core of drawing up a response if you need to hold your hands up to something be it online or as a statement is reduced to three things to get right.

They are:

Step One: Own it. You must acknowledge accept or apologise.

As Molly writes, this is the hardest part and fail to roll your sleeves up with this and the statement will come undone within minutes. You’ll get called out.

Step Two: Clarify it, Put the issue into context.

This is where you can put in some explanation.

Step Three: Promise it. Announce your commitment to plans, priorities and changes to come.

This is where you’ll promise to do things differently.

That’s it.

You’d think the process would be foolproof but you’d be surprised at how poorly many media statements are delivered.

Too wordy, too vague and too quick to pass the buck.

Like most effective ideas, if the steps that need to be taken are expressed simply and with clarity you’ve got a chance whether you are a celebrity, a hospital or a council which has messed up bin collections.

As we know, what can start as a media story WILL bleed into the socials and vica versa.

I help deliver ESSENTIAL MEDIA RELATIONS workshops to help people work proactively with traditional media and respond to media queries.

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