Vacations are a rarity for those who do Crisis & Reputation Management.
Threats to reputation aren’t scheduled. They come out of the blue — often at the most inconvenient times. For clients and for those who fix the problems.
Mitt Romney’s gaffe about “the 47%” broke just before he was to address a fund-raiser in Orange County, CA. This sent his advisers scrambling to arrange a quick press conference to try to explain it away and make it into a one-day story. They failed on both counts.
Similarly, on what seemed like the beginning of an uneventful weekend, I was walking into the neighborhood Coffee Bean with my morning papers when my cell phone rang. New client. Desperate. Tight deadline. So I turned around and began work, coffee-less.
It was a nasty litigation, arguably undeserved. Media had picked up on it. Damage had already been done to his reputation and relations with investors in his projects. To ramp up the pressure, the client would be leaving the country on business in a few hours, so we needed to come up with a strategy and tactics and have them signed off by the client and his lawyer (who was at his daughter’s soccer match).
But sometimes you’ve just got to bite the bullet and get away. As I write this, I’m over the Pacific en route to Seoul to visit my daughter. But before leaving, I felt compelled to notify existing clients how to reach me. And I changed my phone greetings to tell new clients to contact me by email. Can I really do work for clients from Seoul? Sure. I’ll just forgo sleep.
Because in Crisis & Reputation Management, clients don’t expect you to have a life of your own.
“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.