At the end of the day, it all depends on how you define things.
For the secret court that oversees the NSA, it was adopting an expansive definition of “relevant.” For Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, it was leaking vs spying, liberating information vs treason.
For Crisis & Reputation Management, it’s what’s going to make the client look better, or at least less culpable.
We’ve talked before about the intricate choreography between the media and those who do Crisis & Reputation Management. But it bears revisiting because it’s so important.
They work together well because they understand each other. They know what the other really needs vs what he wants. They share a mutual wariness, but it’s offset by co-dependence. Each has something the other needs. One controls the ink. The other, access and insight.
They respect each other. Often, they share the same background — those who are best at Crisis & Reputation Management were leading journalists in an earlier life. If they weren’t adversaries, they’d be best friends. This is a huge advantage, but it’s not a sledgehammer. Use it with subtlety, and the results will be more beneficial. You’ll have a far better chance of getting your story told.
When you’re in an uncomfortable situation, you have only one desire: Make it better.
In a harsh spotlight? Shift the glare. Accused of misbehavior, by employees, by competitors, by government agencies? Set the record straight. Caught with your hand in the cookie jar — and more bad things are certain to surface? Get out in front, so you can control the story.
Nothing less than handling it well is acceptable. You have so much on the line. Your reputation. The fate of your business or nonprofit. Everything you’ve spent years of blood, sweat and tears building.
“Because Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset”
Gillott Communications is a Los Angeles-based public relations firm that specializes in high-stakes Crisis & Reputation Management. If you don’t already subscribe, please sign up for our blog Insights on High-Stakes PR. You can reach Roger Gillott directly at 310-826-8696.