Too Many Voices

Listen to just one voice.
Photo courtesy of

Too many cooks spoil the broth. But there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

You’ve heard these a hundred times, probably more. They’re treated as truisms. So what if they’re contradictory? Just use as the occasion requires.

However there’s one rule that’s hard and fast: In Crisis & Reputation Management, there’s room for only one voice. In times of stress, many people think they know what’s best for you — family, friends, colleagues. They produce a chorus of contradictory ideas. This begets confusion that quickly devolves into paralysis.

Don’t be rude, but know where to draw the line. Most clients get this, instinctively.

One didn’t. She opened the door wide and sought to accommodate all the voices, but they were dragging her in many directions at once. Soon she collapsed (figuratively) from severe overload. She realized what we cautioned early on — that it was impossible to reconcile all the discordant ideas. It was a conclusion she had to reach herself, before she could move forward.

When you’re in crisis and your reputation is on the line, you must be nimble to cope effectively with fluid situations. That’s the essence of the business. Tactics are reevaluated daily, sometimes several times a day.

But even as tactics shift, the underlying strategy is constant. If properly designed, it guides you steadily toward your desired goal.


“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.



2 thoughts on “Too Many Voices

  1. Solid advice, like always.

    Best regards, George

    Salmas Law Group The Food Lawyers® web site: tel: (310) 556-0721 fax: (310) 788-8923

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  2. You wrote, “But even as tactics shift, the underlying strategy is constant. ” You make a good point because the pressures to respond to respected and trusted colleagues and professional peers is great. And I think that women, even more than men, are relational in their orientation to leadership, but in a crisis situation, one absolutely has to show strength and the simpler the message, the better. There is no room for ambiguity or contradictory statements in a crisis. The visibility one experiences in a crisis can strengthen the perception of a leader’s capacity to lead, or weaken confidence.

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