I’ve long said during my conference presentations that the very best way to reduce the onslaught of media calls during a major event is to push, push, push. Provide all those who ask (and those you think might ask) with a steady, continuous flow of information means the volume of calls will go down. Evidence? I’ve talked to crisis communicators using our crisis communication platform and they have told me it is true. But here is stronger evidence.
As unbelievable as it sounds, a columnist from a local Houston area newspaper loudly praised the efforts of Houston area public officials. Columnist Cheryl Skinner complimented the officials (by name) for keeping up a steady flow of information during the storm and the recovery:
And, I mean steady! Day and night the e-mails with the latest closings, recovery reports, health hazards and anything related to Hurricane Ike and recovering from the storm were sent in volume.
For the media this meant being able to pass on the information without hours of searching for someone to talk to.
That’s the part that is critical. They didn’t have to search–which saved them time and effort and made them look better. Plus, they didn’t ghave to pick up the phone and try calling 20 different people. Just imagine how many phone calls that saved.