Chicago Tribune Web Site
The challenge of getting favorable news coverage can be daunting at any time. It's difficult to predict how an editor, reporter or producer will view your story.
Media relations is more art than science.
However, you might as well pack it in when one story totally dominates news coverage to the point that the media and everyone else is talking of little else. Such is the case with this week's blizzard.
Forecasts of 20 to 30 inches of snow with blowing and drifting conditions are overtaking the headlines. Stories range from airport delays to school closings to long lines at the grocery store as people stock up on food.
Anyone with a scheduled news event during the storm have to understand that reporters will not attend. You'll be lucky if an editor decides to re-write your press release.
However, it can work both ways. If you have a natural tie-in with the weather, you may find yourself getting coverage you did not expect. It's part of effective crisis communications.
Are you a hardware store manager? Invite the media to your store to interview shoppers picking up shovels and other last minute supplies. Are you a convenient store operator offering free cups of coffee? Let the media know. Reporters are always looking for ways to personalize their stories, especially during breaking news.
The point is that circumstances are beyond anyone's control, but you should always be in control of your own story.