Crisis Communications: Is it Time for Your Crisis PR Reset?

crisis readiness

One thing that gets talked about a lot in the public relations business is crisis communications. You read articles like this one, perhaps you go to conferences or participate in webinars on the topic. You follow people on social media who give you a steady diet of crisis PR tips and tricks. But what is the current state of your crisis management readiness?Read the rest

Inconsistency is the Death of Credibility

double standads

One of the mistakes people make when they point out someone else’s hypocrisy is that they assume that everyone understands that the inherent inconsistency undermines the credibility of the hypocrite.

Years ago, that may have been more practical but not today.

One of the more glaring examples of this is when a group of students who don’t like a visiting guest speaker, so they decide to shout down that speaker when he comes to campus.… Read the rest

Crisis Communications: How to Spot a Crisis Before It Happens

Crisis Management

You can’t predict the future, and with that in mind, you can’t predict every crisis before it may happen. But one of the things I’ve built into crisis planning over the years is an early-warning process for anticipating and identifying potential crises.

There’s no magic to it. Mostly, it’s a matter of constant vigilance and discipline in monitoring your own intelligence channels.… Read the rest

Media Relations: Nothing is Off the Record

off the record PR

I can’t say I’m surprised PR people still think some things can be off the record when talking to reporters. Still, the whole issue of “off the record” is a mine field. Any PR person who continues to think there is such a thing as an off-the-record comment to reporter is simply lucky enough to have not stepped on that landmine … yet.… Read the rest

Crisis Communications: Preparing for “What’s Next?”

crisis planning - what's next

Once a crisis starts, the question that’s top-of-mind throughout is, “What’s next?” Sometimes, the answer is obvious, but oftentimes it’s anyone’s guess. In every case, however, the answer is the most critical piece of data you need.

By this point, you know what’s happened. You may have a good idea of how it happened and why it happened.… Read the rest

The Pertinent Negative: Find Out What’s Missing

pertinent negative

There’s a term used in medicine called “the pertinent negative” that helps doctors and other medical professionals diagnose illnesses and identify problems. Essentially, it’s to look for what’s missing.

For example, a pertinent negative is when it appears someone has heart failure but they haven’t gained weight, a common symptom of heart failure. To a doctor that’s weird, and it’s a pertinent negative, because weight gain is missing from the symptom list.… Read the rest

Crisis Communications: The Plan is Not to Plan

Don’t think ‘plan.’ Think ‘process.’

I have some friends who avoid the stress of planning for their annual summer vacation by not planning for it. Yes, they take a vacation every year, and they always have a good time in a nice place. But they don’t plan for it, at least not in the way you may think.… Read the rest

There’s a Difference Between a Problem and a Crisis

One of the more common myths when it comes to crisis management is that problems are often conflated with crises. In other words, when a company or brand is faced with negative social media backlash, it’s broadly assumed that’s a crisis when in fact it’s not. It’s just a problem, a serious problem, perhaps, but still not a crisis.… Read the rest