From My Reputation, To Yours: Crisis Communication


© Ivan Bliznetsov -
© Ivan Bliznetsov –

It’s been a month heavy with celebrity crises. Aaron Hernandez gets accused of murder, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West get teased for naming their baby North, John Galiano of Dior has another anti-Semitic outburst, and Paula Deen goes from cooking butter-rich food to losing her Food Network partnership and multiple endorsement deals.

Dig Up Dirt, Clean It All Up

A lot of these individuals may have saved their reputation if they had an effective crisis Public Relations (PR) plan in place. The “once a murderer, always a murderer” reputation may be a hard reputation to manage but one bump in the road can be easily smoothed out by managing past mistakes to easily avoid further criticism in the present.

Paula Deen was asked to appear on the Today Show for an interview with Matt Lauer but canceled in the last minute to handle it on her own. Deen released an apologetic video where she was in complete control of her words, most likely crafted by her PR team. She shows up a week later to an annoyed Matt Lauer who blatantly asks, “Are you racist?” “Would you fire you?” and other direct questions. Reporters and journalists can be just as straightforward and quick to call the kettle black.

Stand on Firm Ground

tumblr_inline_mp2cxvNb7i1qz4rgpAlthough Deen’s PR team did react with an apologetic video, one mistake was to avoid talking to the media immediately through journalists like Matt Lauer. Canceling appearances at the last minute will always affect your reputation in a negative manner. With that said, one of the most important factors of managing a crisis is to handle the media head-on. You must be the one to address the concerns without it coming from others.

If there is dirt in a celebrity’s history that may arise or affect their present reputation, it can be beneficial to make it public and announce how the celebrity figure has changed for the better. Always turn bad into good if possible.

An article from the Boston Globe quotes celebrity crisis expert Allan Mayer, “you can’t afford to be asleep at the switch or be slow at reacting. It used to be you could take a little time to gather your thoughts and figure out what you want to do. It’s a luxury none of us have anymore.”

Be Prepared

That rapid transmission of information has forced some media relations teams to prepare for bad news before it happens. Scott A. Sobel, President of Media & Communications Strategies based in Washington, D.C., said his crisis management firm performs “reality audits” and devises responses to hypothetical situations.

With that in mind, always have a crisis communications plan ready. Who do you need to reach out to first to keep from damaging your company or client reputation? What is your crisis support infrastructure—who does what, when?

Have a central spokesperson instead of many to keep a consistent frame of mind and voice. Before speaking, anticipate key questions with your team so you can provide the most politically correct and authentic answer.

Whatever you do, don’t go quiet. Social media helps provide real-time communication channels so take advantage of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms to keep people informed.

Lastly, analyze your response. What did your team do well, and what could you have done better. Keep these key points top of mind for your next PR crisis communications plan.

Equipped with an actionable plan, be prepared to handle any PR crisis. Instead of delaying or running from the situation, own up to your mistake and handle the crisis the way you had planned.

What are your suggestions for handling a PR crisis?

Add a Blog


  1. One thing I’d really like to say is that before obtaining more laptop or computer memory, have a look at the machine in which it will be installed. When the machine can be running Windows XP, for instance, a memory threshold is 3.25GB. Adding a lot more than this would simply constitute any waste. Be sure that one’s motherboard can handle the particular upgrade quantity, as well. Interesting blog post.

  2. You have to waste less time to look for your necessary topic on net, as nowadays the searching strategies of search engines are fastidious. Thatís why I fount this article at this time.

  3. I’m very happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

  4. I have learned some important things by means of your post. I’d also like to convey that there may be situation in which you will make application for a loan and do not need a cosigner such as a Government Student Support Loan. However, if you are getting a loan through a standard loan service then you need to be able to have a cosigner ready to help you. The lenders will certainly base any decision on the few issues but the most significant will be your credit history. There are some loan merchants that will additionally look at your job history and determine based on that but in many cases it will hinge on your credit score.

  5. 858549 707638Admiring the time and effort you put into your web site and in depth details you offer. It is very good to come across a blog every once in a although that isnt the same out of date rehashed material. Great read! Ive saved your website and Im including your RSS feeds to my Google account. 671482

  6. Thanks for the publish. I have always noticed that the majority of people are desirous to lose weight because they wish to appear slim as well as attractive. Nonetheless, they do not always realize that there are more benefits just for losing weight as well. Doctors state that obese people suffer from a variety of health conditions that can be directly attributed to the excess weight. The great thing is that people who are overweight plus suffering from a variety of diseases can reduce the severity of their particular illnesses by simply losing weight. You are able to see a continuous but marked improvement with health whenever even a slight amount of weight loss is accomplished.

  7. I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thanks , I’ll try and check back more often. How frequently you update your website?

  8. Hmmm, yup no doubt Google is finest in support of blogging except now word press is also fastidious as a blogging as its Web optimization is good defined already.

  9. My spouse and i ended up being now fulfilled when Peter managed to conclude his basic research through the ideas he grabbed out of the web page. It is now and again perplexing to just possibly be offering tricks which often the others might have been selling. And we see we now have the website owner to give thanks to because of that. The explanations you’ve made, the easy site navigation, the relationships you assist to foster – it is all unbelievable, and it’s aiding our son and us consider that the issue is fun, and that’s pretty essential. Thank you for the whole thing!

  10. 421714 388825Genuinely fighter messages are supposed to amuse offer praise into the groom and bride. Very first time audio system watching more than the top places should also remember you see, the senior guideline of the speaking, which is your specific person. finest man speeches brother 207186


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here