You’re closeted with senior management. They lay out the problem. Their world seems to be crumbling. Tension is palpable. “Okay…What do you think we should do?” they ask anxiously and fearfully.
You’re expected to know the right answers, right now. That’s why they hired you.
But before you get there, you must ask the right questions — and you must do it in real time, because hesitation isn’t an option. You must drill for facts they didn’t realize were relevant or were reluctant to share.
You can only help if you know the whole story.
That’s what creates effective advocates. You peel back the wishful thinking to get to reality, then find the best path forward.
Welcome to a day in the life of Crisis & Reputation Management. In many ways, it’s similar to that of lawyers, therapists, and accountants.
How much clients are eager to share runs the spectrum.
Some can’t tell you enough. They flood you with more information than you could ever need or use. They talk for hours about matters directly related and incidental. They give you access to their most sensitive files. It’s always better to have too much.
Others keep information close and let it out reluctantly in dribs and drabs. They fear the more you know, the less likely you’ll tell their story the way they want it told. They’re the most difficult to deal with and the most dangerous.
Why the difference? Sometimes, it’s basic psychological makeup — the natural extrovert versus the introvert. Others, it’s a sense they may have been caught red-handed.
Those most willing to share firmly believe they did nothing wrong and are just misunderstood. Those who are less willing often fear they may have strayed and are looking for a way out.
Whatever the reason, the lesson is the same: What you don’t know can damage everyone.
“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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