Making the announcement about relocation
Standing in front of employees and the news media explaining a location project can be stressful.
Regardless of where you are in the site selection process, what will you do if employees begin asking about a relocation or consolidation before you are ready with answers? What will you say if the Mayor or a local reporter calls?
Being forced to provide an untimely confirmation of a site selection project can occur due to unexpected events. Employees might spread rumors because part of a conversation was overheard. Or a premature comment by a politician in a candidate community might spark media coverage elsewhere, which will be picked up by your local news outlets. Fairly quickly, an onslaught of problematic information can spread via social media be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or countless blogs.
The Best PR – Be Pro-Active
It’s common for the “PR part” to be a particularly difficult component of a location project, particularly if you are the one who has to make the speech to the employees, field inquiries from stakeholders, or face cameras and microphones aimed at you from the hometown press.
Creating a credible relocation message is a must. There are virtues in preparing a press release in advance to allow for variations to be used with employees and other audiences. If the event is big enough to eventually spark public interest, that announcement can be speedily volunteered to the media. Doing so would be in line with a pro-active communications style, which helps a company’s image far better than failing to provide a timely response. Also, responding to a media inquiry with “no comment” is one of the worst things companies do.
Joe has served as a press spokesperson for multi-state real estate transactions during an ownership change on the 644-mile Boston-New York-Washington rail line, when in New York, Ohio and Florida manufacturing plants were closed, and in crisis communications roles during product recalls, accidents, natural disasters, legal disputes and labor stoppages.
Today, he helps clients fashion statements for media, employees and public officials should a company not want to run the risk of alerting employees by relying on in-house PR staff or lawyers to do such writing. How to be more effective media interviews is part of our specialized help.