How to write defensive press releases as a PR person. - CAMPUS94

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Sunday, 29 January 2017

How to write defensive press releases as a PR person.

By Dave Roos Money.

Press releases aren't only used for promoting positive
events like product releases or expansion plans. They also
can be a PR professional's sharpest weapon when
defending a client against bad publicity during a crisis.
Defensive press releases are part of an overall crisis
communication plan that's put into motion by PR
professionals at the first sign of trouble. A PR crisis could
be many things: an industrial accident, a product recall, a
racist statement during a speech or allegations of criminal
activities.
Defensive press releases use tactical language to put a
good (or at least less negative) spin on bad news. For
example, when Chrysler announced on Nov. 1, 2007, that
11,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs were being eliminated
along with its decision to discontinue four models, its press
release stated the company was making "market-related
adjustments" and "volume-related manufacturing actions."
It also turned the focus on the introduction of four new
models, including two hybrids. [source: Chrysler Media Site].
In today's 24-hour news cycle, bad publicity comes fast and
spreads even faster. A well-prepared PR professional will
already have a crisis communication plan in place, including
ready-made press releases for responding quickly to a
variety of potential crises. These stock press releases can
be customized to include important information about the
current crisis aimed at diffusing the situation.
Sometimes defensive press releases are necessary simply
to combat negative information in the press that has yet to
become a crisis. In these situations, it's important to first
take a step back and examine the real or potential damage
done by the story to the client's reputation or credibility. In
many cases, the negative article is an isolated incident that
will blow over in a few days. The best move in these
situations is to do nothing: lay low and let the news cycle
move on [source: Entrepreneur.com ].
In certain cases, issuing a defensive press release may only
serve to draw more attention to a matter. For instance, a
technology critic for a major newspaper writes a bad review
of a new Apple product. If Apple issues a press release
refuting the critic's review, it may escalate the situation
leading to a war of words between Apple and the critic.
But if it's clear that other news outlets and blogs are
picking up on the story, it's time to issue a defensive press
release. There are a couple of options for the format and
tone of the defensive press release. A PR professional can
choose to stick with the standard format, which resembles
a news story with a strict journalistic tone. In this type of
defensive press release, it's important to put emotions and
editorializing aside and lay out the facts in a convincing
way. Third-party expert opinions should be used to support
your argument
Another option for a defensive press release is a "letter from
the CEO" format. Even though it
may be written by a PR professional, this letter comes
across as a more personal and genuine response to a crisis
situation. This type of press release may be more useful to
send to clients and customers, rather than the press. It
shows a client's constituents that someone in the company
is taking charge and working on solutions [source:
Entrepreneur.com ].

By Dave Roos Money.

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