Critical Care: Media Relations Tactics For Weathering Crises Big & Small

One would be hard-pressed to locate a business executive who could honestly remember a time when the media environment was as complex as it is today. Not only is there an ever-growing number of new online platforms that emerge every day for executives to deal with, but the media itself can't seem to find its footing in the topsy-turvy milieu.

"The traditional news cycle is gone forever," says David Albritton, vice president of ITT Defense Communications at ITT Defense Electronics & Services. "There is more competition than ever before with 24-hour global access to real-time news that doesn't come from traditional print and broadcast media. [This] fosters that battle to be first instead of worrying about being right."

This certainly puts media executives in a bind, but it also creates a seemingly impossible challenge for communications professionals, who must reckon with these external forces to protect their organizations' reputations, brands and bottom lines in the current crisis-prone business climate.

"It's a wild, wild west of 24/7/365 information flow that is unregulated and uncontrolled," Albritton says. "There are few, if any, barriers for posting anything, anywhere at any time. It's a matter of minutes before your issue is in cyberspace. This makes total situational awareness about your topic almost impossible."

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