How Do You Manage Media Relations During High-Stakes Events?


    How Do You Manage Media Relations During High-Stakes Events?

    Navigating the complexities of media relations during pivotal moments, we've gathered insights from a Director of Communications, who emphasizes the importance of building authentic media relationships. Along with expert strategies, we also present additional answers that enrich our understanding of effective media engagement. From the initial outreach to proactively anticipating issues, discover a spectrum of strategies that have proven successful in high-stakes media relations.

    • Build Authentic Media Relationships
    • Strategize and Train for Media Events
    • Personalize Journalist Engagement
    • Monitor Social Media in Real Time
    • Deploy Rapid Response Communication Teams
    • Tailor Messages with Data Insights
    • Amplify Narrative Through Influencers
    • Anticipate Issues Proactively

    Build Authentic Media Relationships

    This may seem unorthodox, but developing relationships with media journalists in advance and operating with candidness has helped me successfully manage high-stakes moments.

    It's been an important part of my career to be able to build authentic connections with others—coworkers, constituents, and columnists alike.

    In a former role, I once took the lead on planning a bureaucratic event—the party, the speakers, the speeches—everything.

    Unfortunately, the keynote read their speech 30 minutes before the event kicked off, and they HATED the final line that was—consequently—also the line used as the 'fortune' in specialized fortune cookies for the celebration.

    While I was busy sharing media packets around the room, I was also playing fortune cookie keep-away from the keynote, and a few sharp journalists clocked it.

    I had already taken the time to connect with them as people, so they took that as an opportunity to do the same.

    We laughed about it, and it wasn't featured in their stories because I was comfortable being vulnerably human in a high-stakes space. So, take the time to read, respect, and understand media professionals as people. It really does help.

    Madi Gregory
    Madi GregoryDirector of Communications, AYS

    Strategize and Train for Media Events

    One specific way I've successfully managed media relations during a high-stakes event is by having a play-by-play strategy and media training before the event. This helps successfully navigate the 'what-ifs' and provides for a seamless event turnout.

    Brittany Mobley
    Brittany MobleySenior Media Relations Specialist, Eastern Michigan University

    Personalize Journalist Engagement

    We knew media relations would be important in the face of a high-pressure product launch. Instead of a general press release, I wrote individual emails to key journalists, highlighting previous coverage of similar innovations and how our product addressed specific reader interests. This targeted approach piqued their curiosity and created a connection beyond a press release. We also organized exclusive pre-publication briefings where journalists could ask probing questions and boost their confidence. This personalized engagement resulted in insightful articles that effectively communicated the product's value proposition and set the stage for a successful launch.

    Fahad Khan
    Fahad KhanDigital Marketing Manager, Ubuy India

    Monitor Social Media in Real Time

    Real-time social media monitoring is vital for keeping a pulse on the audience's sentiments and the event's reach during a high-stakes situation. By actively tracking what is being said across various platforms, an organization can quickly identify emerging trends and potential issues. This information allows the team to address concerns promptly and maintain a positive narrative.

    It is essential to keep the monitoring process ongoing as the event unfolds to stay ahead of the conversation. To effectively manage media relations, start monitoring your social media channels now to ensure you're ready when a critical event occurs.

    Deploy Rapid Response Communication Teams

    Deploying rapid response communication teams can be a game-changer during high-pressure events. These teams are trained to handle crises and can swiftly craft and disseminate accurate information to the public and press. Their quick reaction time ensures that the organization's viewpoint is part of the discourse from the very beginning, preventing misinformation from taking root.

    This approach is all about preparation and efficiency, with the teams ready to jump into action at a moment's notice. Establish a rapid response team today to safeguard your organization's interests during any high-stakes event.

    Tailor Messages with Data Insights

    Employing data-driven message tailoring helps to ensure that communication during a high-stakes event resonates with the intended audience. By analyzing data on audience preferences and behaviors, messages can be crafted to appeal specifically to the target demographic, increasing their effectiveness. This strategy involves continuously evaluating the impact of the messages being sent and adjusting them according to the gathered data.

    In today's information-driven world, a well-tailored message could make the difference between gaining support or being ignored. Incorporate data analysis into your messaging strategy to maximize your reach and impact.

    Amplify Narrative Through Influencers

    Leveraging influencers for narrative amplification can provide a significant advantage during important events. Well-chosen influencers, who align with the organization's values and have substantial followings, can project the message further and with more credibility than traditional channels alone. Their endorsement can lend a sense of authenticity and persuade their audience to take the organization's communications more seriously.

    This technique taps into the power of social proof, where people are influenced by those they respect and admire. Connect with trustworthy influencers to help share your story effectively during crucial occurrences.

    Anticipate Issues Proactively

    Engaging in proactive issue anticipation allows organizations to navigate high-stakes events with preparedness and poise. By foreseeing potential challenges and preparing responses in advance, businesses can avoid being caught off guard and keep control over the narrative. This strategic approach requires analyzing historical data, understanding the current climate, and predicting future developments that could impact the event.

    Being proactive rather than reactive in issue management provides a layer of security for maintaining a positive image. Begin planning now to anticipate issues before they arise and manage your media relations with confidence.