The following post is from Robert Polzoni.
Where is news breaking these days? More often than not, it’s breaking online.
Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s personal physician implicated in the singer’s death, posted his first remarks on YouTube and conducted his first interview with TheDailyBeast.com, one of the leading news sites on the Internet.
Two major sports stories broke this week on Twitter, quarterback Brett Favre signing with the Minnesota Vikings and major league baseball’s top draft pick, Stephen Strasburg, signing a $15 million contract with the Washington Nationals.
While not breaking news, a blog posting by a physician this week on the San Francisco Chronicle questioned hospitals’ billing practices. It created quite a stir online and within the industry.
Unlike stories that appear in the mainstream media, online news and blogs like these can spread like wildfire in a matter of minutes.
That brings me to my next point. How should communicators respond to online breaking news and blogs?
First, monitor the news and blogs online. Just as you skim through the morning newspapers or catch the local television news before work, you should be “Googling” to see if anything is being written about your organization online or what topics are being discussed that could eventually lead to your organization.
Second, if you discover something online that could impact your organization you must turn on a dime to respond to it. Literally, every minute counts.
Third, make sure your response is posted online to the breaking news story in question or to a specific blog posting. It does no good to contact or email the reporter or blogger directly. The thousands and thousands of people reading that news story or that blog won’t see that. They need to read your response. You must engage in the dialogue online.
An article this week in InformationWeek Healthcare reports that hospital communicators are beginning to see the value of integrating social media into their communications and marketing plans.
Once the step is taken to enter the online world, the next step is to learn how to dialogue in it.