We all have worries. Left on their own, they skew our vision and consume us. They crowd out factors that are positive — and even those that are neutral.
Consider investors who wring their hands as oil prices fall because the stock market falls in tandem — until traders pause long enough to realize that’s good news for consumers and the huge portion of the economy that caters to them. Mass psychology at its worst.
Or those deeply invested in social issues who are whipsawed by every decision by politicians and courts — as if that action will be the final word. They’re ecstatic (if they’re winning) or angry (if they’re losing). They’re always waiting for the next shoe to drop — hoping it will be favorable, fearing it won’t.
The greatest danger is surrendering to a sense of helplessness. If you do, you abandon hope. Without hope, you can’t win the battle or the war.
But hope alone won’t carry the day. You must know what to do to influence events, or bring in someone who does. This is no time for amateurs. Too much is at stake.
Nothing instills more fear or causes more worry than potential loss of reputation. What you’ve spent years building could evaporate in the blink of an eye.
Is the issue already public — or can that be avoided? What to say — or not say? In what forums? How to act — contrite (if you were caught with your pants down or your hand in the cookie jar), or defiant (if you’re wrongly accused).
Never confuse them. The wrong response — a denial that’s false or a cover-up that won’t stay hidden — is as devastating as the original sin. Sometimes more so.
Every business has issues that are likely to cause trouble. For hospitals, disclosure of protected patient information. For retailers, breach of customer credit card data. For those manufacturing and handling food products, tampering or contamination.
Worrying about those scenarios is healthy. It’s foolish to be unprepared. Expect the worst and plan for it. If it doesn’t happen, your relief will be much more gratifying.
“Because Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset”
Gillott Communications is a Strategic PR firm. We’re Fixers. Crisis & Reputation Management. Litigation. Media Relations. Crisis Prep. More than half a century of expertise working with clients to resolve issues both in and outside the media’s glare — in their professional and personal lives.
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