Public relations can mean a different thing depending on the location and company that is being represented. No matter what though, at some point the public relations professional will be faced with a situation that can make or break the reputation of the company.
Remember a couple years ago when Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner of the 2015 Miss Universe Pageant?
That was a public relations night mare that had to be dealt with. Probably by multiple people, some from Steve Harvey’s team but also some from the Pageant committee and the representatives from each of the women as they worked to deal with the situation.
The reputation of more than just Harvey was a stake here. The humiliation and confusion was unbearable for both of the women involved in the situation.
There are some very important things that could be learned from this mistake. In an excellent post from Beth Atkinson titled “PR Lessons from Miss Universe 2015,” she points out some of the key takeaways and learning points of the crisis.
My favorite point she makes is her second point, “response to a PR crisis should be human and empathetic to the situation.”
I love this point because in the middle of everything that is going on during a public relations crisis it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that the people in the situation are still people and that they will still have to live their life after the crisis is over. And even in some very serious crisis’s when death is involved, there are stills families and friends that need to be kept in mind when we as public relation professionals react.
While crisis cannot always be adverted, our reaction as professionals is the most important tool we have to battle the fall out.
Photo Credit: Jorgemejia via Compfight