3 mindless crisis commentary errors to avoid

Your reputational inferno will spread quickly as journalists and even fellow PR pros ‘help out’ by tossing verbal kerosene and charcoal briquettes onto the fire. Here’s how to quench the blaze.

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Once a crisis occurs, the bloviating begins, mostly by PR people.

Most of these uninformed comments leave the erroneous impression that if you do maybe three things right, and quickly, the problem will be over before it begins.

It’s sort of like when you were a kid seeing, for the first time, a show on which people were shot. You’d think, “Why didn’t they just quickly jump out of the way the moment they heard gunfire?” The moment you know it’s a crisis, you have, in fact, been shot.

Let’s talk about how we really should prepare those we advise for what’s going to happen once the bullet arrives. What happens first is Mindless Crisis Management Commentary Errors, made mostly by PR people eager for the visibility that such commentary provides.

It seems many of our public relations brothers and sisters know a whole lot less about the patterns of crises than they let on, including many who write and blog about the subject.

Let’s start with the basic realities of a crisis that the instant critics seem to miss or fail to care about. Perhaps they are ignorant of what gives rise to crises. What we get instead is mindless commentary.

Mindless comment No. 1: “They didn’t act fast enough.”

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