Nibble on This Tasty Tip for Acting Fast During a Crisis
By Tim Moran, Client Alchemist
A crisis strikes, and you’re scrambling. You know you need to act fast, but you don’t know where to begin. Don’t find yourself in a situation like this. Set yourself up for success by creating content that can be pulled from the shelf and repurposed quickly: tasty content like the swiss cheese format.
Picture a block of swiss cheese. You see all the solid bits around the holes? That’s what you’ll be creating with your content. The swiss cheese format helps you write the content you already know, while leaving space (the holes) to fill in with details later.
As you’re planning before a crisis, a press release is a great place to start. To craft your first swiss cheese document, begin with a situation that’s more likely to occur (e.g., a water main break) and create a complete press release about this hypothetical situation as if it’s actually happening. Now, make it swiss cheese by removing the specificity, including cutting out any dates and locations.
Note the holes in a swiss cheese document with parentheses, #s, or Xs, and highlight them so you don’t miss filling in any holes later when you go to press with the final product. So you can see it in action, here’s a portion of a swiss cheese press release we created in collaboration with the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP).
The best thing about the swiss cheese format? There are so many more applications for it beyond press releases. Try the method out on social media posts, newsletters, or almost any other written material you need prepared in case of a crisis. When in doubt, think swiss, and you can’t miss (too cheesy?).
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