Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
~ Bible, Galatians 6:7
But what you reap, may not be what you hoped. Once a wheel is set in motion, inertia takes over — for good or ill.
Beware unintended and unexpected consequences.
Consider U.S. politics. Both major parties long whipped up passions of the fringe, then retreated to the center, presuming outliers had no choice but to support them. But Republicans lost control. Their most conservative wing developed a mind of its own and rebelled. Now the Establishment is scrambling, fearful of what it created.
The same is often true for businesses and nonprofits. Bullish on the future? Been sharing those dreams with investors and donors? Tossing caution to the wind? Don’t let your hopes outrun reality, or you may be in for a hard fall.
Take Theranos, a San Jose-based firm created by tech whiz Elizabeth Holmes. Its value soared to $9 billion based on a blood-testing regimen that promised to revolutionize the industry. Today it is faltering amid allegations by federal regulators that it exaggerated the reliability of its tests.
Or the CEO of an education nonprofit who believed a brighter future was always right around the corner. If potential students or donors said “maybe,” the CEO heard “definitely” and was ready to begin spending the “new” funds. Problem was, the money seldom materialized and the nonprofit withered.
Or management that tolerates rambunctious and sexually inappropriate behavior by an employee because he brings in a lot of business. You believe (or at least hope) no one will complain. Until someone does — and then you’re facing a multimillion-dollar harassment lawsuit.
Enter your strategic communications advisors. They’re key players in your inner circle. They know the path to get you where you want to go — and how to avoid trip-wires along the way. They keep your story on point and don’t let you get ahead of the facts.
To paraphrase Mary Poppins, A teaspoon of reality now can save you a boatload of grief later.
“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.
If you don’t already subscribe, please sign up for our blog, Insights on High-Stakes PR.
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.”
Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net