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In Case of an Emergency
By: Janet Kalandranis
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It’s impossible to ignore what happened last Friday. Not only in the U.S., but China as well. Innocent human beings left too early. The majority of the day was spent listening to news coverage and trying to get the most up-to-date information on the situation. Whether it was TV, online news, or even social media, there was no shortage of conversation around the events that occurred in one small town in CT.

During an emergency, many companies and many brands have certain procedures to follow. For instance, schoolteachers have been trained and students know who to follow. The same is true for the media. There is a quick turnaround to get the information to public as quickly as possible, so coverage that may have been planned gets sidelined and the emergency takes center stage, as it should.

However, there is one part of the emergency plan that never got considered, and one that clearly missed the mark. Most of the public was in the midst of their day when the incident occurred and quickly turned to online news to get the details. News stations were quick to make this information accessible, but only after advertisers’ paid spots were seen. In the case of an emergency, protocol wasn’t considered in this situation. The public needs the information as quickly as possible and the fact is that brands don’t want their messaging to stand in the way of delivering this in an emergency situation. Sure, it goes against everything that is day-to-day for many news outlets, but there needs to be some thought around what programming looks like online and off when an emergency occurs.

The delay of news due to online ads was no one’s fault intentionally, but it brings about a new point. All news brands need to understand the realm in which they work and have a back-up plan for the time when a switch is turned because of an emergency and the public is given straight news consistently. Sure, it’s not the everyday plan, but it’s the one that will make viewers respect the channel, respect the broadcast, and ultimately focus their attention on what’s most important: the emergency situation at hand.


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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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