Currently there is only one story in town for local and national newspapers – Coronavirus.

It’s a topic that affects us all and everyone has a story. It’s no surprise that many organisations are being approached by the media with enquiries about coronavirus related crisis stories.

Here are a few tips on how to handle negative enquiries and avert a potential media crisis :

Respond as quickly as you can with a confirming email – simply saying you have received their enquiry and will respond in full within a couple of hours. This lets the journalist know they will get something and prevents them running something without your side being represented.

Find out as much as you can about the circumstances and have some fuller Crisis PR tools and messages in place in case the story gets bigger and broadcast outlets become involved. Respond in full by lunchtime at the latest, or within a couple of hours of the initial response with your 3 sentence statement.

Respond to a written enquiry in writing.  Do not respond by phoning the number the journalist gives you, unless it is someone you have been dealing with on a regular basis over a long period of time and is relatively trustworthy.

Keep your responses short – 3 sentences if possible, adding a fourth if only absolutely necessary. You will achieve two things by doing this:

    • Firstly, if you are only writing 3 sentences, they will probably use all of your response – so you get your complete messaging in.
    • Secondly, if you keep your response short, the size of the story they may run will be smaller and more likely to be “spiked” – ie not run at all.

Do call us if you need PR support during this challenging time. We can provide full advice, phone consultation, written statements, media preparation, key messages and Q&A document.

Media Friendly are specialists in Media Training, PR and Communication skills – everything from Presentation Skills To Crisis Media Management.  We also offer PR and Crisis Management support. For immediate advice and support call Media Friendly on 01628-474154, or email