Issues Management: Morten Holm expert on crisis communication and CEO of Holm Kommunikation A/S, warns companies not to be overconfident in acting aggressively towards any impending media crises.
Keeping up with the twenty-four hour news cycle has proven challenging for the journalistic community that strives to meet ever tighter deadlines in an environment of complex information, generated by competing actors with differing interests. As a result, some news stories going public are - to some extent - under-researched and biased in one direction or the other. Still, trying to spin one’s own story over aggressively is a dangerous game.
Over the last few years, Danish companies and trade organizations with strong communicative capabilities have sought increasingly to act aggressive in the face of impending media crises. It has become comme il faut for Danish communication experts to recommend their clients to adopt large-scale media responses to almost any sort of media crisis – at the disfavour of their clients.
A recent example is the Danish Mink Farmers Association who, in response to an upcoming TV documentary critical to mink farmers, launched a two-week media campaign in their own favour. In my view, this campaign did more harm than good by over-publicizing the issue.
What must be realized is that a media crisis will often pass quickly without inflicting any real damage to the core business. An aggressive media response to crises situations should be considered as one tool in a larger kit of strategies that can be employed in the face of differing crisis situations.
- Don’t waste management resources where they aren’t needed. Judge crises situations on a case by case basis and be careful to select the appropriate response according to the specific task at hand
- Don’t be overly confident in your ability to control the media. Journalists still pursue their own agendas in television programs and news articles
- Know who your central stakeholders are. Stakeholder specific dialogue should most times be prioritized over massive media responses to crises
- Utilize the potential of social media in your approach to stakeholder communication
Holm Kommunikation A/S is one of the foremost full-service PR Agencies in Denmark. Located in Copenhagen and Aarhus we offer advice to major Danish and international companies on communicative issues. Holm Kommunikation A/S employs leading experts in areas such as Public Relations, Issues management, Product Branding, Social Media and CSR.