The events of January 6, 2021 are an American tragedy. Once again, as with so many unfortunate incidents over the past 35 years, Americans and people from across the globe are transfixed to images pouring across all forms of media.

In these instances, companies often question how these exogenous events can or should impact their corporate communications. For our clients, we advise that during a crisis – each public communication — whether earned, owned or otherwise — requires significant circumspection, reflection and selectivity. In most cases, the strong presumption should fall against distribution.

During an unfolding public crisis there is an increased risk that unrelated content might seem insensitive given ongoing news coverage. Further, even if your communication might seem urgent, there will likely be a lack of attention/engagement with content due to hyperactive news cycles.

As a communications professional who has lived and worked through 9/11, the financial crisis, the pandemic and now the attack on Congress – I’ve learned that it is essential that life and work must endure, especially in the face of national tragedy. Though it may seem so, the world does not and will not stop.

By exercising patience and circumspection, your audiences will be there for you when the dust settles.

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