To Einstein, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result was the definition of insanity. To Yogi Berra, who was as famous for his malapropisms as for his baseball prowess, it was déjà vu all over again.
It’s never desirable to make mistakes — and it’s certainly never wise to repeat them. After all, we’re supposed to learn from our missteps, right?
This is especially true in Crisis & Reputation Management.
Protecting a client’s reputation is an extremely delicate business. No time for wishful thinking or amateur guesswork. Those who do it well have been in the profession for years. They got where they are by being unerring. They learn from mistakes made by others — and those are legion.
This doesn’t translate into a fear of experimentation. On the contrary, that’s the lifeblood of the business. Every case brings new situations, and each must be finessed differently.
What it does mean is you must know, in your gut, how something will work before you do it. You must anticipate all the questions and know all the answers. How will the media respond? The public? By closing off one risk for the client, are you opening the door to three others?
Nothing must be allowed to slip by.
In many professions, work often invades sleep and creeps into dreams.
A colleague who does marketing joked that he dreamt how to make his PowerPoint presentations more compelling.
The Crisis PR person may toss for hours worrying if what he said may be interpreted differently than intended. Or how he might better nuance a point the next day. Or whether a reporter really understood that the information he provided on background wasn’t to be attributed — and might inadvertently out him.
Interestingly, those who worry the most have the least to worry about, because they’re the best at what they do. If they didn’t always analyze and fret, you should be worried about them.
Has life always been so complicated? Perhaps. But it’s only gotten worse with the emergence of smart phones and a 24/7 news cycle that keep us forever tethered.
“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.
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