Wednesday, January 28, 2009

News Never Sleeps

Today, more than at any time in history, news is a 24-hour rolling stream. It never stops. This has both advantages and disadvantages. News media are engaged in constant competition to break stories, provide new angles, and secure the services of the best analysts and pundits to comment on and analyse stories.

If you appear on TV, you may find your remarks repeated on radio, quoted in newspapers, and appearing on websites. In short, there is no hiding place. Exclusivity, if it exists at all, is measured in seconds rather than minutes or hours. Once a story has broken, somewhere, you become fair game for reporters to chase.

How do you cope? Well, luckily, there are some things you can do to relieve the stress. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest mentions of any word or phrase that you specify. They can be sent to you daily, weekly or as they appear. You should definitely have Google alerts set up permanently for your name and your organisation name. If a crisis occurs, set up new alerts that relate to it. Monitor them constantly so that you will be ready to respond.

The other important thing is to have a 24-hour news contact. That doesn't have to be you, but it must be a real person, with a number that is made known through your press office, or (very importantly) on the press area of your website. You do have a press area, don't you? Well, I'll tell you more about setting one up soon.

No comments: