Some people may run from investigative reporters…but I think they’re nice.

At a recent event, I had the opportunity to speak with Fox 5 I-Team Investigative Reporter Randy Travis. You may have seen his stories on the air – a lot resulting in doors being slammed in his face or people running from him.  Personally, I enjoyed our conversation. He even gave crisis communications advice, which happened to be the same advice we give to our clients!

Crisis communications is needed in each industry. Unfortunately, preparing for a crisis isn’t on the top of the to-do-list, usually until you’re smack dab in the middle of it. When the news crew comes to ask questions, no one is prepared and people’s first instinct is to run away or say the dreaded, “No comment.”

If you thought reporters liked having clips of persons-of-interest driving off in their Mercedes or running into dark rooms and slamming the doors … well they do. However, they also want to hear your side of the story and, when they do hear a well-planned, logical response, often present a much more balanced story, if they air the story at all.

At Schroder PR, we offer Crisis Communications Support for our clients. We train them to be prepared for reporters, negative social media attention and even internally, with employees and other stakeholders. We’ve handled all kinds of crises, for existing and new clients, and while we can support you in most stages of the crisis, it is in your best interest to be proactive.

If you’d like more information about how you can start being proactive with crisis management, or just to hear the advice that Randy Travis thought was so excellent and fitting, give us a call.…read the full article here.

Social media proves it not only connects but also can be a matter of life and death

If you’ve watched TV news in the past week, you saw the constant coverage of the devastating Boston bombings as well as the tireless pursuit of the bombing suspects. If you were on social media this past week, you saw the same thing – but at a faster pace. Following the bombing, more than 500,000 tweets with the hashtag #BostonMarathon were collected by a research group from Syracuse University.

This saturated, unfiltered coverage eventually led to as much, if not more harm than good. Social media users made false accusations after examining photos and made up false headlines to try to take the lead in reporting. Suddenly, the medium that served as a watchdog, alerting the country of tragedy, became an unpredictably wild dog in the overall story.

The impact of social media isn’t new or surprising to PR practitioners. So it is still somewhat surprising – although very welcomed – when clients ask us why it’s important to be on social media.

In future social media presentations, I’ll remember to refer to this past week to demonstrate the impact social media channels can have. It was an example of not only how powerfully social media can engage others but also how quickly the unfiltered medium can take a turn for the worse. As we tell our clients, social media needs to be managed and we are able to train our clients on the importance of a successful crisis plan.

While many are still skeptical of the importance of social media in our lives, it is irrefutable that social media played a major part in our nation’s coverage of last week’s terrorist attack. That proves to me that the same channel of communication that drives traffic to business blogs such as this one, is also giving people vital information that could be a matter of life and death.…read the full article here.