However, as public relations consultants, our job is to expect the unexpected. We have to think of all eventualities for our clients and plan for how we can best react.
Be it preparing media document such as pre-emptive q&a’s, so we’re ready should problems arise, or preparing press statements – we are on hand to help nip a situation in the bud before it has chance to develop. We have to plan to put a good “spin” on things – things that may not even occur.
In pr, damage limitation soon becomes a vitally necessary skill. One of the best ways of doing it is through liaising with the media, not just in the crisis but well ahead of it. By building a good relationship with key journalists, right from the start of our work, we can be prepared for when or if a crisis hits. They are the ones with the power to escalate a problem so by keeping journalists informed and on side, we can control the situation.
The ideal situation is for them to think of us as their first port of call when they get a “whiff” of a story. That way we can clarify and avoid hearsay playing its part in damaging our clients’ public reputation.