Hurricane Sandy, tragedy marketing, PR and when to just be quiet…

WRONG Sandy guys…

Let me give this disclaimer before you get ANY further: I am merely an entry-level PR pro giving my opinion on a current event and how it relates to the field I love so much.

So, as you know, Hurricane Sandy (which has lost it’s “hurricane” status and is now just a superstorm) has been pounding the eastern seaboard for the past 48 hours: shutting down airports, killing electricity in whole towns, empyting the streets of NYC (which is a huge feat in itself) and generally causing mayhem…unless you’re a grocery store, chances are that you were having a bad Monday. But what if you were a PR or social media team? What should you do in a time when half of the United States is on the verge of destruction but you have a press release you HAVE to get out?

According to this great article from PR Daily brands should maybe just shut up, and I kind of agree; you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place because you don’t want to seem like you are trying to capitalize off of the tragedy like American Apparel, you can’t just not say ANYTHING for 48 hours, and going on with regularly curated content could deem you as heartless and disconnected. So what do you do? These are the types of questions and ideas I think as budding PR pros, we need to be thinking about because it falls under the heading of strategic intelligence and creativity; 2 traits I hear over and over again are necessary and highly desired for PR pros. I simply wanted to bring this to your attention and ask you: what would you do?

Me? Well, I would stay active with helpful tips and breaking news on the issue at hand and even offer a blog post with resources and tips , to show people we are compassionate and interested, but also make sure we are fresh in their minds. I might also do some flash research and pull together a survey about people’s thoughts and put that into a pitch. But that’s just me…have any ideas? Thoughts? A mini-strategic plan? Let me know in the comments and please stay safe and dry and protected during this tough time.

XOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing


2 responses to “Hurricane Sandy, tragedy marketing, PR and when to just be quiet…

  1. this post contradicts itself

    • Thanks for your comment; I know it may seem that the post says to both shut up AND still operate right? But my point was, there is a right way and a wrong way to communicate during a tragedy and it’s nearly impossible to just keep quiet for an entire 48 hours, so I just wanted to give my thoughts on the matter. Thanks for reading!

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