News Happens. What to do When You Don’t Get Any Day-of Media Coverage
Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try or how great of a news story (product launch, special event, press conference) you have, sometimes news happens. And with that breaking news, goes all of your media coverage.
We’ve had this happen before and we’re sure it will happen again. Interviews we’ve set up for our clients get canceled last minute due to all media resources being needed for the critical news of the day.
For example, when Hurricane Katrina hit, we had a client scheduled to appear on a TV network news show. The interview was canceled the day before the storm and as you can imagine, was not rescheduled for a long time after that. Our client was upset, but we tried to explain, that weather related news, is just out of our control.
Another example, a police officer shooting took place and a feature story interview was canceled. The client had rearranged his/her schedule for this interview, but we could do nothing but try to reschedule. The producer was really apologetic and asked to rebook the interview. Breaking news like this is something you can’t necessarily plan for.
Even worse is when you have a special event and try to get day-of coverage. That morning you wake up to breaking news and you know your event will not get any media attention. So what do you do?
Still try to get media to attend.
Yes, the breaking news trumps your event, but still try all the same. Be polite when you pitch. We always try to be understanding. Kind of like, “Listen, we know you have a lot going on with XYZ, but if you had anyone available to cover our event, we’d really appreciate it.”
Pitch for after.
Your day-of coverage might be long gone, but try to get some post publicity. This can be just as effective and important. Just because a camera crew doesn’t show up the day-of, doesn’t mean your event can’t still get covered after the fact.
Make it easy for the media.
They might not have a camera crew available, but what’s stopping you from filming the highlights. Be sure to take photos, get sound bytes and offer the media those and interviews with the key event representatives. Help them see what they missed so they are more likely to cover the story afterwards.
As we always tell our clients, be prepared for the worse. If your special event is outside, have a plan b for inclement weather. If breaking news happens, be ready to put your media hat on and get as much of the event documented as possible. If an interview gets canceled, try not to get upset. It’s out of your control and we will do everything in our power to get it rescheduled.
Breaking news or last minute cancellations don’t have to be a disaster if you’re prepared!