CIM includes a fully integrated media and communications management module, which interlinks with other modules to provide visibility and transparency of interaction with the press, public and other stakeholders. In summary, the media management tool provides the following functionality and can be used for both daily and crisis media management:
- Media enquiry logging, follow up and management
- Holding statement creation for team members to respond to enquiries
- Press release creation, management, approval and distribution
- Creating checklists to aid with managing the media during a crisis
- Assigning of tasks to the media team
- Setting up and publishing information to a dark site
- The ability to send mass communications via email and SMS
- A full register of press contacts
- RSS feed and Twitter account monitoring
Holding statements and press releases can either be created from a blank page or from templates.
Our customers are able to create templates for holding or press statements, based on any existing documents that are in place within the organisation. These might be created for initial statements, periodic updates, issue of details regarding helplines and so on. A template can include imagery, headers, footers and any other detail required so that when a team member need to draft a statement, the format, structure and content have already been pre-approved by the organisation. The user will then simply fill in the relevant details and submit for review/approval/distribution. Templates can be created for ‘all incidents’ or for a specific incident that is being worked on at that time.
Holding Statement/Press Release Approval
CIM enables a member of the press team to create press or holding statements from the templates mentioned above. Once the template has been filled out, the user can choose to:
- Send the release for comments from other team members
- Send the release to another user for approval
- Approve the release
- Save it as a draft
It is important to note that the above is dependent on permissions- some users may be given the permission to approve press releases, whilst others may not.
If a release is opened for comments, those who have been selected will receive an email with a link to the press statement. These do not necessarily need to be users of the system- we recognise that some organisations work with external PR and comms agencies. The selected individuals will then be able to comment on the press release, providing guidance to the original editor.
If the press release is sent to another user for approval (again permissions dependent), the user will have the ability to approve or reject the press release.
Once this has been approved, it is then able to be sent via email to distribution lists, both internally and externally. The press release can either form the main body of the email, or be sent as an attachment. Press releases/holding statements can also be given a validity period, so that they are only available/approved for a certain period of time.
Incoming Media Enquiries
The system allows our customers to log incoming media enquiries, from the press, external stakeholders and otherwise. These can be categorised upon entry and distributed to other users for follow up and resolution. Pre-approved statements on the organisation’s position will be visible, to ensure that each member of the media team gives a consistent message. When an enquiry is logged, the system will automatically suggest press contacts based on the first few letters you type in. Selecting a pre-existing contact will populate the enquiry with their details. If a new contact is logged, this will automatically be entered into the press register for future use.
The flexible permissions structure within CIM is essential for effective use of the media management functionality. We will help customers create its existing workflows within the tool and ensure that only the correct users are able to create, manage, approve and distribute holding statements and press releases.
Integration with other modules
As with other parts of CIM, customers will be able to set up the media management module to suit its three tiered structure, both at a local and corporate level. Holding statements, press releases and media tasks can automatically be entered into the main incident log as required, ensuring that those not in the media team are still given sight of important communications information. Any tasks or checklists that are given to an individual as part of the media management functionality will appear on their task list, promoting a structured, joined up approach to crisis management.
External Information and Media
As well as providing the capability to monitor Twitter accounts, hashtags, popular topics and RSS feeds, One Voice and CIM can also work with the client to set up a dark site for use in an emergency. Our clients typically use this to draw attention away from their main website and to provide much needed information to those wishing to know more about the crisis. Press releases, holding statements and any other details can be published directly from CIM to the dark site, ensuring that your comms team is able to provide the required information to many at one time. We look forward to discussing this with you further.