Verbatim: How media companies are responding to COVID-19

By Dawn McMullan

INMA

Dallas, Texas, USA

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On March 10-12, 2020, the International News Media Association (INMA) surveyed members on their enterprise-wide response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 virus. Thus far, 56 media companies from Africa, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, South Asia, and the South Pacific have responded. Many have task forces set up to address issues. 

In the quickest way to share responses, INMA presents the verbatim Survey Monkey-generated answers from members across 34 questions. Click here to view.

“Members need the see what peer media companies are doing ASAP,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA. “This is the fastest way to get information into members’ hands even as survey results are still coming in.”

This article was updated at 7:00 p.m. New York time Thursday, March 12. This is an evolving story. Here are the questions we asked:

Section A: general emergency preparedness 

1.     What is your plan to address current pain points associated with the coronavirus? 

2.     What models/scenarios are you using/considering in your pandemic planning? 

3.     At what stage will the outbreak prevent service delivery? 

4.     What is your plan to deliver print products if your supplier(s) shut down?

5.     What is your plan to deliver print products if you are unable to physically deliver the print product to the consumer’s door?   

6.     What is your plan to deliver print products if you have interruptions because of a supplier, manufacturing, mailroom, or other shutdown? 

7.     What is your plan to continue delivering digital news products?

8.     How do you plan to share/pool publishing or production-related talent in a doomsday scenario? 

9.     What is your plan to help your team in the case of a direct impact to your news organisation of COVID-19 or any other public health concern?

10.  What is your plan for a secondary impact to your news organisation from a public health concern? 

11.  When was the last time your company had an emergency preparedness audit?

12.  What is your emergency preparedness plan? 

13.  What is the crisis communication plan you will communicate to readers and advertisers?

Section B: Workforce management and employee communications 

14.  What would cause your company to shut down operations or take major such actions? 

15.  What is your employee crisis communication plan?

16.  How are you communicating this plan to employees?

17.  What is the plan to identify mission-critical staff?

18.  How will you organise employees to work from home? 

19.  How are you dealing with non-Coronavirus staff illnesses? 

20.  What is your employee policy to pay workers who cannot work from home and have been asked to stay away from the work environment? 

21.  What is the plan for employees to work from home out of fear, not cases of infected employees at your worksite? 

22.  What is your policy to pay the connectivity costs of employees working from home? 

23.  What is your plan to order additional laptops or other equipment to allow employees to work from home?

24.  What is your plan to deal with journalists who do not wish to attend certain public events or be in certain environments? 

25.  What is your plan to deal with sales reps who do not wish to attend or to go certain client locations?

26.  What is your plan to deal with employees who use public transportation? 

27.  What is your plan to give your editorial team access to a publishing system outside the office? 

28.  What is your plan to if an employee is exposed to or has a family member exposed to coronavirus or another public health issue? 

29.  What specific prevention measures are you following for employees working together? 

30.  What are your minimum standards for maintenance or janitorial providers?

31.  What is your company’s confidentiality policy?

32.  What is your emergency call center plan? 

Section C: Impact to revenue 

33.  What is your company doing about any drop in advertising revenue?

34.  What types of advertising are dropping most significantly? 

As of this writing, INMA is aiming to distill commonalities and outliers among the answers from this 91-question survey — including a statistical breakdown of key operations.

About Dawn McMullan

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