What Do They Want to Hear?
When putting your messaging together it’s always important to ask yourself, “What do they want to hear?” We don't need to leave our messaging completely out, but there are ways to give someone a story that people want to hear while also telling our story.
I think one of the first and most important things to try is to build relationships prior to your crisis. If you only reach out to the media when you want something from them, what does this communicate? This communicates a one-way relationship that they don’t necessarily need to be a part of. I would encourage you to reach out to the media long before you need them. You would be surprised what a dozen doughnuts will do. Once this relationship is established, a conversation can begin, and you can learn what they are actually interested in seeing the next time something happens. This allows you the time to construct your message including both your needs and theirs.
What do we do with extra materials not picked up, but believed by us to be important? A reporter does not want to hear about every step of your operation, despite how interesting you think it is. Some individuals have taken the step to follow you on social media. Whether it’s an Instagram account that shares a daily photo of your work, a YouTube channel with interviews of local stakeholders, or a blogger who goes in depth on how you’re handling weekly rebuilding challenges, social media is where you can get detailed and creative, engage with customers and create something unique for your audience.
You must ask yourself what people want to hear from you. If you do not begin with this question, you are going to spend needless hours designing and writing stories that end up being nothing more than a waste of your time. Telling your story with some strategy behind it allows for the better communication of your needs and accomplishments.