Media Training Blog from Women Media Pros |

  Home      323-899-3883      pros@WomenMediaPros 

Media Training: Changing the Narrative

  February 16, 2024

Navigating social and traditional media is tricky.  You have a story to tell, but it doesn't always go as planned.  Sometimes your own actions result in bad press or a social media storm.  Other times, events that are completely out of your control can change the way the public views you, your company, or your mission.

When this happens, you need to change the narrative of the story.  A few suggestions on how to do that:

  • Set the record straight by issuing a statement. You could also hold a news conference or sit down with a journalist you trust to   tell your side of the story.
  • Flood social media with positive stories about you and your company.
  • Make some news that will make the public forget about the bad press.
  • Issue an apology if you are in the wrong and take action steps to make sure you don't make the same mistake again.
  • If the media burns you, don't be afraid to push back.  You don't want to sound defensive but you can't ignore something that impacts your reputation.

 Some recent examples in the news:

  • Dwayne Johnson set the record straight after an Instagram video claimed the actor and WWE wrestler was booed by a crowd chanting, "Maui" amid accusations that his efforts to help Lahaina fire victims was a failure.  In fact the crowd was chanting, "Cody" referring to another wrestler, as Johnson played the bad guy role at a WWE news conference.  
  • Target pulled a product off its shelves which was suppose to honor civil rights icons.  This came after a history teacher noticed that three of the icons were misidentified. After her Tik-Tok video went viral and the teacher did some media interviews, Target issued a statement saying the magnetic learning set would no longer be sold at its stores or on-line.  I think the initial statement should have also included an apology. 
  • A country music station in Oklahoma did an about face after refusing to play Beyoncé's new country song.  In an email to a fan the station manager wrote, "We do not play Beyoncé on KYKC as we are a country station."  That fan posted a screenshot of the response on X and it went viral.  The station was flooded with emails from Beyoncé fans and sure enough, the song was added to the playlist.  
  • The hot new casino in Las Vegas, the Fountainebleau, got plenty of good press for its celebrity-filled grand opening in December. But then came Nacho Gate in January.  A disgruntled customer posted a photo of a paltry serving of nachos at the sportsbook--just six on the plate.  Other casinos and local eateries got in on the fun posting photos of their nachos pilled high on plates.  The Fountainebleau got the viral message--soon posting a photo of the new, generous nachos and wrote  "...We hope you'll excuse our growing pains while the nachos went through their awkward phase...."   This, to me, was a perfect response.

You can see the power of social media from these examples. Regardless of how you respond, speed is important.  You don't want bad press in traditional media or on social media to grow.  Your in-house communications team or PR representative should start brainstorming right away.  And for a pro-active approach, consider a media training or crisis communications workshop before bad news hits.  Not every negative scenario can be anticipated, but many can and talking points may be pre-written and adjusted as the situation demands.


Leave a Comment:


Search Blog

Subscribe to Blog



Alex Rodriguez Always packaging Amazon slavery AMC Movie Theater AMC Theaters apologies Back to work Bad press BBC Bella Shaw Beyoncé country music Bilingual media training Bilingual news conferences Brand management Cereal for dinner Chipotle Chris Christie CNN Coca-Cola Coronavirus Corporate Communications COVID concerns Crisis Communications Cristiano Ronaldo Cryptocurrency Cub Scouts Debates DNC Donna Karen Dunkin Donuts Dwayne Johnson Emma Watson Flint FTX Garth Brooks Gayle King Harvey Weinstein Hawaii missile threat Help for Small Businesses Hooters Houston Astros Inclusivity Instagram eavesdropping internal communications Jeffrey Lord Joe Rogan John McCain John Stamos Justine Ruszczyk Kaley Cuoco Kanye West Kardashian Kevin Spacey Kobe statue Lara Spencer Law Enforcement Lawrence O'Donnell live streaming Louis C.K. marginalized Maui fires me too Media media relations Media Training Megan and Harry Messaging MGM Minneapolis police shooting Mooch Naomi Osaka News conferences Olympics Oprah interview PBS Fireworks Pokemon Go politicians President Biden Press conferences Prince George Princess Kate Public Relations Red Cross Reputation management RNC Robert Kennedy Jr. Royal Family Saatchi & Saatchi Scaramucci social media sound bites Storytelling Suzanne Spurgeon The French Open The Gap The Panama Papers Tide pod challenge TV interviews Twitter Twitter bullying United Airlines Vanity Fair cover Video Production Virtual media training Wendy’s surge pricing White Castle Whoopi woke Women Media Pros Ye Yuri Gurriel
Providing  MEDIA TRAINING services in: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Chicago, Milwaukee and cities worldwide
Call:  323-899-3883    Email: pros@WomenMediaPros 

Copyright © 2021 Women Media Pros