Saturday, February 12, 2011

Social Media and the Media Cycle

At a recent workshop, the issue of timely updating of stakeholders was raised.  The executive essentially questioned the notion that an organisation can be faster than a citizen journalist.  Her argument was based on the fact that citizen journalists are not obliged to verify the accuracy of the facts before posting it online, while an organisation attempting to stay ahead of the media cycle is.

Participants at the workshop as a whole agreed that organisations are at a disadvantage.  They however agreed that staying ahead of the media cycle did not mean that they had to gather all the facts before responding to the incident.  In time critical situations, a simple statement (a) acknowledging the incident; (b) giving some factual information about the incident; and (c) stating that the organisation was investigating is sufficient.

Hence, in the time sensitive era of social media, the old approach of responding only after gathering all the facts is no longer valid.  Organisations must now be prepared to issue 2-tiered media responses to incidents.

Refer to my earlier blog posting for one possible decision matrix on "to respond or not to respond."

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