When crises break, sometimes the appropriate response is to pause all media outreach. In other instances, or depending on services and products the company offers, it becomes vitally important to leverage your media relationships to clearly communicate key messages and to ensure you’re following best practices when working with media outlets to ensure your stories are accurately told.

Here are three tips to guide your media outreach strategy during crises:

1. Stay True to Your Brand Essence and Values. How can your company or brand help the crisis? Based on your answer, here are some proactive ways to get involved in the media conversation:

--Inform. Share how consumers can still access your products, as well as what your company is doing to help minimize the impacts of the crisis, take extra safety precautions and assist employees.

--Give Back. Find ways to support those impacted by the crisis, like donating to recovery efforts after a natural disaster.

--Share Tips. Leverage your brand’s expertise to provide tips and tools for groups navigating the effects of the crisis. Work in mental health services? Share coping mechanisms. Work with electric providers? Provide advice on how to prepare for extreme winter weather.

And, this should go without saying, but do not use misleading subject lines and don’t capitalize on a crisis to advance your brand, product or service. Just don’t.

2. Monitor and Adapt to Trends. Read the news from outlets and reporters you’re targeting multiple times a day during a crisis to understand trends and determine when it’s okay to pitch your story. If everyone is covering hard-hitting news and your content is lifestyle-focused, wait until you see more stories that align with your content before hitting send. This also means frequently adjusting pitch angles to match story trends, so you fit into the coverage as it’s happening.

3. Remember – Reporters are People too. Newsrooms are shrinking and reporter workloads are higher than ever. Once you’ve determined a content fit for your brand and determined now is the time to pitch, follow these best practices when working with reporters:

--Find the best journalist for your pitch. This should always be the case, but it’s especially critical when beats are changing during a crisis. Read the target’s recent stories to be sure.

--Be sensitive. Reporters are not immune to what is happening around them. They may have friends and family impacted by the crisis or may themselves be impacted.

--Build on relationships. Reach out to reporters you have worked with in the past to make sure they’re okay and see if you can help by connecting them with experts from your brand.

By following these tips, Linhart PR has secured stories during crises that have provided useful information from our clients to a range of audiences in times of uncertainty. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us at info@linhartpr.com.