GG’s Jordan Miller shows why staying out of the media can often be the right media strategy.
We live in a world where an ever-increasing amount of content must fight for space and attention on an ever-decreasing array of news platforms. With no straightforward formula to explain what goes viral and what doesn’t, or why what resonates with audiences today didn’t matter at all a month ago, it can feel like a major challenge to “break through.” Many individuals and companies assume they can increase their chances by participating in the news cycle as much as possible. There is a sometimes-frantic need to proactively say something—anything. But sometimes—often, even—the better media strategy is to stay out of the story.
Good media strategy is about more than putting you in the stories in which you should appear; it must also keep you out of the stories in which you should not.
Before hitting “publish” on that social media post or jumping to take an interview opportunity, spokespeople should ask themselves some basic questions:
– Do I have something substantive to add? Would the audiences I am trying to reach think my contribution is valuable?
– Am I an appropriate person to deliver this message? By speaking up, am I placing myself where I don’t belong or taking an opportunity away from someone with lived experience?
– What are the potential reactions inside and outside my organization to what I have to say? Am I prepared to deal with those responses and the consequences that may come with them?
For inspiration: presented without comment, here are five times the media strategy should have been to just stay silent:
1. Alec Baldwin responds to Cuomo resignation: ‘this is a tragic day’
2. Outrage as Whole Foods CEO says ignorance and poor choices cause obesity
3. Lululemon founder Chip Wilson blames women’s bodies for yoga pant problems
4. Matt Damon says he still used ‘the f-slur’ up until some ‘months ago’
5. Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne resigns after saying he aided in ‘deep state’ Russia investigation