One of the biggest challenges facing PR professionals today – agencies and in-house teams too – is that of speed. When something happens on the internet it is very often the case that a delay of minutes can make the situation ten times worse.
Here are some of the key points. At 5:05pm TechCrunch emailed Facebook to get an official response on a new feature they thought they had spotted. By 5:29pm TechCrunh, without a reply from Facebook, TechCrunch decided to run the story. That’s a wait of 24 minutes. 24. Perhaps there’s a Jack Bauer of the PR world who could react and research in that time.
As it happens Facebook’s PR emailed back at 5:47 with a response – a response that held a clue that TechCrunch was being set up. Facebook emailed again with 5:51pm with another response.
A big company will almost certainly take more than 30 minutes to fact check, compose a reply and then communicate.
This delay mushrooms very easily if an agency is involved. Of course; good PR practises of pre-scripting rebuttals or being prepared for any predicted situation help greatly reduce this delay but all too often something happens that does require some fact checking.