So, if your organization is subject to media attention, you need to be ready to respond to questions at a moment’s notice. Of course you may decide not to interact with the media, but if you do, that first step can be a doozy. Your first order of business is to not make any mistakes; you want to put your company on a solid footing to deal with continuing media attention. What you don't need to do at this point is answer every question that is asked, speculate, or just say anything in the hopes that the media will go away. Remember, an ill-considered statement will become the story. If your spokespersons remember nothing else when first engaging with the media, they should remember these 4 points:
1. Acknowledge the issue. Don’t go into denial mode. Remember, you’re not accepting blame, you're just confirming that you understand. Your company shouldn't be oblivious to an obvious issue.
- "We understand the gravity of this situation and we’re taking it very seriously."
- "Our primary concern is for those who have been impacted."
- "We have our best people working very hard on this matter right now."
- "Once we know more, here’s how we’ll get you the information" (provide instructions and contact person)