Crisis management – a lesson from the newswires

Crisis

I blogged at the start of the week about the changes Google have made and also outlined why I personally didn’t believe that this would hurt PR agencies too much, but in fact argued that it was the newswire companies that would be in a bit more trouble. Knowing that I was going to write that post I contacted some of the larger newswire services for some comment and reassurance.

The results were quite interesting and a good example of the different approaches to crisis management.

Realwire responded in seconds to say thanks for getting in touch, explained the situation and gave me a timeframe as to when I could expect a response. I then received a response on time and was also given the opportunity to speak to someone should I wish.

DWPub (Sourcewire) gave me an explanation and answer to my question as well as providing me a link to a blog with even further information.

PRNewswire told me they were very busy but provided me with a link to an article one of the team had written and asked when I needed some comment by.

So far so good. I’m the MD of a PR agency. I’m concerned and want information to better understand a situation so was pleased with the response I received from these three companies. It is what I would expect should the media be chasing information from any of our clients.

So what about the others? Press Association, Businesswire, Cisionwire* and Marketwire completely ignored me.

Surely we are their target audience? This is one of the biggest developments to hit their market for years, I expected more.  I needed reassurance and help to field the questions from my own clients. I genuinely feel they let me down.

That said, I wasn’t surprised by the responses from Realwire, Sourcewire and PRNewswire. These are companies that I respect and was delighted to see they didn’t let me down when I wanted information. Gold stars all round guys.

The others – have probably ensured that they don’t work with us again which at a time when their value is being questioned in the media. Rightly or wrongly I have now formed the opinion that they don’t value our custom or want it, as this is the impression I have been left with. It is worth noting that I haven’t used Sourcewire for a long time, but would more readily consider them now based upon this response.

There are a lot of lessons to be taken from the Google announcements but more importantly, I think it again highlights how important having a crisis management strategy is as part of any communications programme.

 

Update on 15 August

* Cisionwire contacted me with a response and apology for the delay in responding after they saw this post. I have asked that they post their response in the comments section. Thanks for getting back to me guys.

3 thoughts on “Crisis management – a lesson from the newswires

  1. Hi Paul,

    I’ve just read your blogs on “Google and the PR agencies”, “Crisis management – a lesson from the newswires” and “Google Vs the newswires”. At Cision, our take on the situation is very similar to yours in that PRs who are using traditional PR skills well will not be impacted by these changes. Our Cision social newsrooms (what we used to call CisionWire) are a different type of service to some of the others you mention in your blog in that they are a place where our clients can host their content where it can be easily shared and discovered through search, we do not post press releases to multiple sites (we do offer that service via partnerships with some of the other players you mentioned, but it is not core to our business here in the UK).

    All of that said, this does still affect our clients and we have written a piece on our US blog (http://blog.us.cision.com/2013/08/4-press-release-tips-for-succeeding-in-the-wake-of-the-latest-google-updates/) and we are currently working on something for the UK blog, which will be published tomorrow. In that post we will let people know how they can add no follow links to the content they post to their newsroom and we will be including it in our training from now on.

    I hope this gives you a little insight into our position on this. Please contact me directly in the future if you would like to know our views on future industry issues.

    Kester Ford
    Head of Product & Marketing, Cision UK

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