The topic was set, the timeline was in place.
I knew exactly what I was going to write about until I opened the Wall Street Journal one morning and saw the following headline: Cain Never Prepared for the Storm. Herman Cain. Remember him? Only a few weeks ago he was a frontrunner in the Republican Presidential Primary. Regardless of your political leaning, you simply have to agree this was a poorly executed Public Relations problem.
Every business (large or small) should take pause to reflect on a plan for dealing with a crisis. No matter what business you are in – you are exposed to potential liability and the fifteen minutes of fame you do not want. This is the reality of the times in which we live.
Here’s another reality – few companies, organizations or leaders pull back and evaluate what they would do when they face “unforeseen” circumstances. Fewer still put a plan in place.
So, why does an advertising guy have an opinion about PR? Simple. It’s my job to help clients communicate with and best reflect their value to customers. Handling a crisis alone is like being your own lawyer. You’re too close and it isn’t your area of expertise. Frankly it isn’t my strength either.
That’s why I team with crisis communications expert Stephanie Koehler and SAKinterMedia whenever one of my clients has a question in the public relations realm. She can help you craft a plan, practice for those challenging times, and uncover where your potential exposure lies. The key, however, is to make that call before the media calls you. You’ll be out front, prepared and have a strategy. That’ll put you on the leading edge and allow you to rest a bit more comfortably when the media appears at your doorstep.