Don’t Keep Your PR Experts in the Dark
When South Carolina Mark Sanford stepped in front of reporters last week and provided a rambling, non-sensical explanation for his week-long disappearance, I first blamed his communications director. I thought “who let the governor walk out in front of reporters like that without a script, or at least talking points?”
But then I realized that the communications director had no idea how to plan and react because his “client” left him in the dark about the situation at hand. This is a bad way to approach any kind of potential public crisis.
The relationship between a PR professional and a “client” must be compared to the relationship between a lawyer and a client. Your lawyer must know all of your business and all of the details surrounding them to represent you as effectively as possible. Such is the case with a communications manager, press secretary or PR consultant.
Whether PR consultants are hired to broadcast good news or manage bad news, they will always ask very difficult questions of their clients. It might be uncomfortable at first, but it is very important that clients provide as much accurate information to PR experts as possible. You will know a PR professional is worth his or her salt if they ask the same questions a reporter would ask. The difference is that your PR professional will help you develop coherent answers that maintain or repair your public image.
So the next time you are faced with a crisis, or even if you have good news to tell, tell your PR expert the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We’re here to help.