Media relations: When silence isn't golden
Iin the absence of information, speculation abounds
By Art Hsieh
A TV news station has been reporting again on a Naples, Fla., family who claim their son died because of ambulance delays. This case has been growing legs since it broke in the media a couple weeks back. It certainly seems that the agency is trying to get its story out, with a news agency intent on controlling it.
Their angle this time being cops were called to an arranged meeting between the family and officials when the media were barred from sitting in on the meeting and refused to leave.
Big investigations are cumbersome. It takes time to gather the facts, investigate the issues and evaluate all of the links of the communication change before a more clear picture appears.
On the other hand, there could have been an effort to get ahead of this story by letting the inquiring media know everything that was currently happening — and that there would be a release of more information as and when it was gathered.
In this case, silence is not golden; in the absence of information, speculation abounds.
In his latest column, EMS1 columnist and public relations specialist Josh Weiss writes about which audience to reach out to when speaking with reporters.
Josh makes the case that you are communicating through the reporter to your target – or, as Josh puts it – “true” audience. In reading this article and watching the video, do you think that the county manager did a good job?
It would appear that this case is likely to head into the legal system.
Much of what is being said and reported right now will shape the court of public opinion.
Meanwhile let's hope that the system will make the changes necessary to minimize similar circumstances from reoccurring.