Crises & The Flash Boys Effect: When response speed affects outcome

by | Jun 18, 2015 | Social Media, Traditional Media

With the evolution of digital and social media, and the demand for corporate transparency at an all-time high, we’re seeing more exposés, scandals and crises than ever before.

From a news anchor’s comments sparking crisis for an entire network, to allegations against a well-known celebrity for sexual misconduct, the need for public relations professionals to quickly and effectively implement crisis and reputation management programs is rapidly increasing.

The research involved in implementing these plans needs to be meticulous, and requires a large time investment. When the stakes are high, public relations professionals need a tool that can quickly and efficiently gather the high-calibre intel necessary to create high-impact programs.

Media monitoring and analysis solutions can help gather and analyze important actionable data, giving public relations professionals the ability to insightfully  and quickly respond to crises.

But media monitoring and analysis isn’t new. Most communications professionals already participate in monitoring, either through an internal resource or third-party provider like MediaMiser. But some communications pros are so focused on analyzing news and media directly related to their clients and their client’s competitors that they forget to look at the bigger picture: namely, what’s going on in their client’s industry?

By monitoring what’s going on in an industry, communicators can build risk management plans and have a better understanding of the impact certain issues will have. They’ll also come to know what kind of news will cause waves and what won’t, which journalists typically write in their space, and which outlets most frequently publish industry-related articles. By having this thorough understanding of an industry’s media landscape, PR professionals can quickly respond to crises by having the data they need available and ready, at their fingertips.

This is true even in extreme cases, such as when an extremely popular author publishes a (now best-selling) book with the intention of exposing and critiquing an entire industry.

Related: Building a good crisis management strategy

In 2014, MediaMiser released a report on how Michael Lewis’ latest book, Flash Boys, heavily impacted the media landscape for High Frequency Trading (HFT), a segment of the investment banking industry that garnered very little coverage before the book’s release. Lewis had previously made big waves with his expose-style books Liar’s Poker and The Big Short (which explored the murky realm of the subprime mortgage industry).

The report delves deep into the media coverage surrounding Lewis’ book and HFT, analyzing which media outlets, journalists, investment banks and other entities were involved, and importantly, which issues spiked the most change in coverage — all crucial information for implementing successful crisis management and reputation management programs.

This type of turnkey reporting is not only important to public relations professionals, but also to executive-level management of the companies involved in the crises. It helps to guide the direction of messaging, allowing crises-management and reputations-based messaging to be more impactful with key publics.

Review some high-level findings of MediaMiser’s HFT report:

Innodata – The “Flash Boys” Effect from dbw2015

Agility PR Solutions
Agility PR Solutions provides powerful, yet easy to use media database, monitoring, and analytics solutions for tomorrow’s communicators. Since 2003, clients have trusted our tools and services to help them identify and connect with influencers, capture coverage, and measure impact of everything they do. Whether we do it for you or help you do it yourself, our team of media experts make it easy to monitor and measure traditional, broadcast, social and online coverage.


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