Ask any public relations (PR) or communications professional, and they’ll tell you the term “PR crisis” is enough to raise a cold sweat in a matter of seconds. Today’s media deploys content across more platforms and at greater speeds一inconceivable just a few years ago.
Getting ahead of the story一or at least catching up with it一requires considerable skill, experience, nerves of steel, and a toolbox that’s efficient, effective, and flexible enough to handle the demands of the moment. That’s where News Direct, the news and content distribution platform purpose-built for today's fast-moving strategic communications, can make a significant difference.
Here are just a few ways News Direct can help your team during a PR crisis一but first, let’s briefly revisit what a PR crisis is.
What’s a PR Crisis?
A PR crisis occurs when news impacts your company in a significantly negative way. The main types include:
- • Reputational. This occurs when news challenges a company’s brand and values. For example, Facebook’s (now Meta) reputation as a company trumpeting transparency and social value came under threat when whistleblower Frances Haugen claimed the social media giant chose to maximize growth over implementing safeguards against excessive use by children and political misinformation.
- • Public safety. When news citing a company’s responsibility for jeopardizing public health or security emerges, this is considered a public safety crisis. Think American exercise equipment and media company Peloton when news broke its Tread+ treadmill was linked to dozens of child injuries, including one death.
- • Financial. A financial crisis occurs when news breaks seriously impacting a company’s financial health. Take Lehman Brothers, for instance. Once the fourth-largest American investment bank, Lehman was forced to file for bankruptcy due to its massive exposure to subprime mortgages during the financial crisis of 2008.
How News Direct Can Help During a PR Crisis
While no two PR crises are quite the same, a handful of steps are foundational to almost every effective crisis response. These include establishing a task force, building a response strategy, crafting key messages and content, distributing collateral, and following up. News Direct can help improve crisis response in the following ways. Take a look:
- • Streamlined workflows. At News Direct, users draft, collaborate, and distribute their press releases from a single, self-directed online platform called the Content Studio. Multiple parties can edit, review, and comment in real time, from anywhere. Not only does this save time一a particularly precious resource during a PR crisis一it also cuts down on errors and version control issues.
- • Industry-leading security. The success of a PR crisis response relies in part on the smart timing and cadence of communications, especially when sensitive information is at stake. A premature release一intentional or not一can be devastating. However, with the Content Studio’s cutting-edge cloud isolation technology and two-factor authentication, News Direct ensures its security protocols are the best in the business. You control what content users see一from piece to piece一and when.
- • Next-generation functionality for financial communications. Financial crises can be especially stressful. Manipulating complex financials that can move markets is every investor relations (IR) pro’s nightmare. News Direct’s proprietary SimpliFi™ functionality enables tabular data to be copied and pasted directly into the Content Studio platform, with complete format retention. So rather than spending hours checking and rechecking numbers, you and your team can focus on your response's higher-order, more strategic components.
- • Standalone multimedia distribution. Sometimes your print piece is more effective when it includes a video, image, infographic, audio track, or animation. With News Direct’s Digital Asset Direct™ functionality, embedding these in your piece is easy and quick. And get this: If you decide to forego the print, News Direct can distribute your multimedia on a standalone basis.
- • No required editorial review cycles. Forget the time-intensive editorial cycles typically required by most news distribution companies (newswires). Not only do these take up time, but they can pose security risks as well一particularly as work-from-home (WFH) conditions remain part of today’s working norm. You alone decide when to submit your content for distribution. That said, News Direct offers industry expertise to assist with editing, proofreading, or dissemination一but only when requested.
- Advanced targeting. News Direct provides extensive distribution capabilities covering a global network of top-tier news and media outlets, trade press, regional press, niche media, influencers, social media, and more. And with its global DB Direct™ Media Database, powered by Agility PR Solutions, News Direct empowers users to create a targeted list of journalists from more than 1 million media contacts and outlets. Getting the right news to the right contacts at the right time is also a breeze. Distribution is launched from the Content Studio. With a few clicks, your communications are on their way or scheduled for distribution later.
- Robust reporting. Performance data for your communications can inform the rollout of your crisis strategy as it’s happening. News Direct provides a suite of reporting tools, such as easy-to-use dashboards and shared formats, that makes reporting a cinch. Metrics include media placements, online syndication, views, and potential visibility, to name a few. You can also measure social media engagement and website traffic.
Revolutionize Your PR Crisis Response with News Direct
Managing a PR crisis is challenging enough without the added burden of legacy approaches to content creation and distribution. Boost your process and results with the tool made for the demands of the PR and corporate communications businesses, even during a crisis.
And News Direct’s pricing is also conceived for modern media distribution. Instead of by the word or scope of distribution, News Direct uses an asset-based, flat-rate model that’s easy to understand and fully transparent一for a fraction of what mainstream press release distributors charge.
Contact News Direct for a demo of its proprietary, exceptional capabilities, and transform your PR crisis response today.