Problems create grief. The more you worry about them, the more anxious you become. When it seems they’re nearly resolved, you exhale gratefully. That’s natural.
But don’t relax too much. This is the point where the other side will try to slip something past you.
Red flags are everywhere. Some are easily visible. Others less so. The harder you look, the more you’ll find.
- Did the other side really surrender? Or just make a strategic (and temporary) retreat? Some battles never end.
- Did they really agree to the terms you wanted? Or simply say, in broad and vague words, that settling would be a good idea. If it’s not in writing and not specific, it’s not legally enforceable.
- Did they assure you, “Trust me. You have my word on it”? That should set your internal alarm bells clanging loudest.
In Strategic PR, the rule is simple: Things are seldom what they seem, and there’s almost always a hidden agenda.
Our job is to uncover that agenda and protect the client from it.
“You really need to lighten up,” a young colleague suggested to an older Crisis PR person. “People can’t really be all that bad, can they?”
“Yes, they can. Usually they are. You will learn.”
It’s a relentlessly dark view of the world, but it does have bright moments.
Like a recent note from a client who thought the other side in a business dispute had conceded defeat: “You’re right. He didn’t actually say what he seemed to be saying. He set a clever trap, and you saved me from it.”
When clients know we’re worrying for them, they’re able to worry less and sleep better. For that, they’re grateful.
“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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For a deeper glimpse into our world, see our book on Amazon, “A Lawyer’s Guide to Crisis PR: Protecting Your Clients In & From the Media.”
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