The friends and relationships needed during a PR crisis often are far different from the partnerships you focus on when operating at normal times. Often, the individuals and institutions that are best positioned to provide support when you have problems are quite different from those you and your company engage with on a day-to-day basis. The problem is most companies not only fail to build those bridges, but they also do not even know who these entities are or where to start.
Stories by Brett Bruen
There used to be a belief that businesses could, and indeed should, stay away from the campaign trail. Sure, they donate to candidates and often have lots of lobbyists. But, it was not seen as their role to try and support or strengthen the democratic process itself. That all changed in 2020.
Exposing the emotional elements of a story during a PR crisis can be extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately, it is too often deemed an unacceptable risk. Yet, the team at Oxford was able to employ storytelling effectively during these difficult days.
You thought the last few years were challenging for crisis communication? Sure, we had a global pandemic and massive political upheaval. Disinformation and truth distortions reached record levels. Don’t forget the unprecedented changes to our planet. But, you haven’t seen anything like what awaits us in 2022.
While companies may feel enormous pressure to issue a major diversity announcement, tectonic shifts rarely work, according to the NAACP’s Aba Blankson. Instead, she says, acknowledge what the company has, or, more importantly, has not done on racial justice previously.
Crisis Insider contributor Brett Bruen talks with Alyssa Farah, former President Trump’s director of communication, about lessons learned from what were undoubtedly some of the most intense interactions any media relations team ever experienced. Several are relevant as companies prepare for, and respond to, today’s polarized political climate.
During a crisis, let others speak on your behalf. It can be an awkward feeling when the harsh winds and torrential rains are battering your company’s reputation. Yet, in many cases, others can do a far better job of explaining who you are and what really happened.
Information warfare is no longer a problem just for governments. Increasingly, companies find themselves targeted. Few have adequate defenses. As the threat expands, developing the capability to counter disinformation needs to be at the top of your to-do list.
What if we could change the course of the next crisis before it got out of hand? Speaking with people in and out of government, I came to believe that we were missing our moment of maximum impact. If we pre-constructed some of what I began calling counter-crisis capabilities (CCC), they could be ready when problems started to percolate. We might reduce the frenzy factor, increase our focus, and enhance performance, argues Brett Bruen, a former White House official.