Challenges for PR & Media Relations in a continuously changing media landscape

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Perhaps you read the news: the Associated Press’ Twitter account incorrectly reported that there had been two explosions in the White House, injuring President Obama.

The Dow Jones plummeted—even though AP had been the victim of a hacker.

“Within minutes, everybody was retweeting this message, because if it would be true, it would be horrific news,” Cindy Penders reports.

In such an environment, how can any brand survive with its reputation intact? Join Penders and find out. In this session, you will:

  • Reap insights on how to restore trust by using social media as a part of PR and media relations strategy
  • Get inspired to use social media for PR and media relation
  • Gather tips and tricks on how to deal with a changing media landscape
  • Learn why storytelling is essential—and what makes a good story

Not long ago, when Penders told people at parties that she worked at a bank, they would say, “That’s interesting. What do you do there?”

But nowadays, she says, “People get suspicious.”

The political climate has changed. Politicians are eying banks closely, and everybody and his grandmother are quick to use social media to conduct PR. Even the smallest disruption can cause major news headaches for a brand.

“We have to earn people’s trust every day, and we have to account for our actions,” Penders says. “This is the new reality for us as a financial institution.”

ING takes seriously the new environment, expanding its external communication team to 16 from five.

“People use new devices,” Penders says. “They share quicker. They’re more critical. And they’re more inclined to listen to their peers than they are to listen to you.”

Learn how to deal with a media environment in which reporters fire off tweets first, then correct later.

Hear how to handle this when reporters can expect to have large groups of followers. Reports that would not appear on television or in a newspaper are now being posted on Twitter, and they become a major source for consumers—and editorial teams.

Speed has become the decisive factor. “You don’t have those deadlines anymore, because on social media, the deadline is not tomorrow, the deadline is yesterday,” Penders says.

“More than participation,” she adds, “it’s all about anticipation.”

Find out how to avoid being steamrollered by this juggernaut. Start here.

May 2013

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Presenter bio: 

Cindy Penders is manager of external communications at ING Netherlands. She advises company leaders on media, PR, and stakeholder activities, including media relations, events, crisis communications, dialogues and social media activities to improve ING’s reputation. Previously, she directed the communication strategy and activities of the Dutch branded goods manufacturer’s association. She also has worked as a financial journalist in Holland.