By Bruce Hennes/Hennes Communications
With no barriers to entry, every public relations firm in the U.S. now appears to offer “crisis communications.” They don’t. At least, all of those who claim to don’t.
Crisis work requires a different – and often counterintuitive – skill set from the traditional practice of public relations. It’s also an art form where more often than not we’re helping clients figure out not just what to say, but what to do, which isn’t something learned from a book.
Business advisers increasingly understand that the Court of Public Opinion is often as important, if not more so, than the Court of Law, especially with more than 95% of civil cases never going to trial, according to most estimates. And that approach increases among business advisers who understand their clients’ business models and want to offer holistic advice, rather than serving in a narrower or even transactional capacity.
If you have a crisis on your hands or an issue looming and you need communications help, the best questions can get you to the best answer:
Finally, remember: you can’t use communications to “spin” your way out of a crisis. That’s Hollywood. In the real world, you’ll get called on it and your crisis will get worse.
Our best advice: don’t hire a firm that tries to spin its own story.