Behind the Scenes at The Guardian During the Edward Snowden Era

snowden_1370814166862_426887_ver1.0_320_240The Guardian has gotten more press in the past year than ever before. This is of course thanks to one Edward Snowden (Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras helped too). News outlets dutifully reported on the NSA leaks with fervor, but for media junkies, the real story went on behind the scenes.

How did the paper handle the sudden onslaught of attention? What was their strategy for releasing information? What kind of crazy requests did they receive from journalists? We learned the answers to all of the above and more in our exclusive interview with Gennady Kolker, who oversees media relations at The Guardian US. Here, Kolker talks about how the story unfolded on its own:

How did the strategy to raise awareness of the story develop? How much of it was organic?

The strategy was less about raising awareness than it was about coordinating and managing the response. The revelations were explosive and the journalism would speak for itself. We knew that. Within hours after breaking the Verizon story, it was effectively everywhere. The next day we broke the PRISM story; most of the major networks carried it as ‘breaking news’, and we had reporters on three networks that night. In those first few days, coordinating media for our team of reporters (who were based on two different continents in two different time zones) was essential. And it was absolutely exhilarating.

For more, including how the story changed The Guardian‘s reputation among news organizations, read: Inside PR at The Guardian in the Edward Snowden Era.

@aneyafernando Aneya Fernando is digital projects manager at Adweek.
Publish date: April 23, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT