This article was originally published in 2015 and has been completely updated in 2020.
Selective engagement is a communication strategy that basically involves engaging on your own terms – you choose when and with whom you communicate. It applies mostly to media, either directly or indirectly, and particularly in crises.
Selective engagement as advocated by US consultant Jim Lukaszewski means you don’t necessarily respond every time your organization’s name is raised in the media or in other forums or when a journalist contacts you. Many media officers try to excel at their job by obligingly responding as fast as possible to media contact or by hastening to respond to comments in the media by others about their organization.
However, it is more valuable to think strategically about whether to respond, and if so, when the best time may be to respond. Selective engagement can be far more effective than knee-jerk responses:
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