Do Stories Live Longer Now?
In public relations crises, there is a common question faced by the entity that is going through a public relations crisis: Do you respond?
One of the interesting elements of this “Do you respond?” question is an assumption that the media will move on to another crisis soon, taking the public and associated political/economic pressure with them. In a world of social networking and 500 million Facebook users and millions using sites like digg.com to elevate stories that are important to the people and not the media producers, you have to ask yourself, “If the media moves off a story, will the public go with the media?” More and more, the answer to this question is no.
Mainstream media may get distracted by other stories and other events as they pursue the next jaw dropping revelation or Lohan court appearance, but focused members of the public can continue to stay engaged in a story via niche media outlets and their own tweeting and status updates. Such actions on their part can keep a story in the conscious of the public.
Stories live longer now. They don’t go away easily. This means the formula for choosing to respond is changing and more and more entities in crisis will find that responding is the only option.