Navigating Breaking News Cycles

By: Ellie Forkins

Some months, it seems everywhere we look there is breaking news. And the past few months have been no different. Recently, the world has turned its attention to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. With heavy hearts, we all watched as the situation unfolded, knowing fully that this breaking news would take priority among national, regional and local media. 

The thought of competing with a breaking news situation, such as the Ukraine/Russia conflict or the COVID-19 pandemic, is daunting. It can be difficult to navigate next steps regarding the announcement of an upcoming event or new product when a crisis is occurring. 

So what are brands to do when competing with a crisis? 

  1. Don’t panic. Natural disasters, global events and even local crisis situations have unfortunately been around since time began and are sure to be around in the future. It is inevitable that any news, whatever it may be, will get buried behind the constant breaking news hitting reporters’ emails.
  2. Do not compete for a reporters’ attention or time. By ignoring the “in-your-face” crisis that is occurring, you risk damaging your relationship with the media which could trickle out into the public. It is for this exact reason that we counsel our clients to think about their presence from all angles, from media outlets to social media. We often encourage our clients to forego posting on social media or launching social media ads (unless directly impacted by the crisis) in order to avoid looking tone-deaf.
  3. Reschedule. Yes, I know, this isn’t what you want to hear, but oftentimes the best move is to reschedule. Postpone that corporate announcement for a day or two. Reschedule your unique, feel-good story to next week. Giving the media time to breathe and navigate the intense pressure they are under can make a huge difference. 

Working with crisis experts like those of us at Commonwealth PR is a strategic move. We are able to navigate crisis situations, whether they be in-house or global, and can spot potential drawbacks and outcomes from a variety of perspectives. If you don’t have a crisis strategy in place, reach out to us at and let us help.

We are here to help your company succeed! Reach out today to set up a conversation with our team to discuss your needs.


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