Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crisis Strategies

CoSIDAnews included this blog post from Mr. Media Training on what to do when the reporter knows too much. The angle was more corporate PR, and as many of us in the sports world know, it's very often a given that the reporters know more than we do -- especially in the high-profile hiring world (don't forget today's teleconference on same from CoSIDA).

An advocate of the "tell our bad news first" for the longest, finding more confirmation that you do yourself a disservice in holding back and hoping is great, but I think that Brad Phillips misses a key point in our world. If you wait until the reporter knows, it really is too late. You will look like you're only trying to spoil the media's story.

To that end, read down in Brad's comments to find this nugget. It's a blow-by-blow of the Vancouver Olympic Committee trying to do just that -- beat a news outlet that via Canadian equivalent of FOI had emails that showed there were pre-accident concerns about the luge track.

As the Canadian journalist points out:

The best media relations tactic probably would have been to disclose the safety concerns a year ago and take the lumps then.


The strategy and the strategist become part of the story. Some might argue that is a valid move -- they aren't talking about the track safety, they are talking about the media person. In a world of increasing transparency, the lasting impression is of a tactic, however, not of getting out the truth -- no matter how hard the PR professional tries to say we were just trying to tell "our side."

2 comments:

braddphillips said...

Hi Bill,

Thank you for commenting on my original story. I agree with everything you wrote here, and am not sure we disagree.

My blog post was coming from the perspective that the organization or company DID wait too long, and then asked the question, "now what?"

But as my clients know, I'm the first one to recommend they either change potentially damaging policies before they become reputational crises -- or that they reveal what they know before the media find out in the first place.

Anyway, I'm glad you commented on my post. It helped me find your blog, which is smartly-written and content-rich. I've signed up for the RSS feed and look forward to staying informed!

Best wishes,
Brad Phillips
Author, The Mr. Media Training Blog

braddphillips said...

Hi Bill,

Thank you for commenting on my original story. I agree with everything you wrote here, and am not sure we really disagree at all.

My blog post was coming from the perspective that the organization or company DID wait too long, and then asked the question, "now what?"

But as my clients know, I'm the first one to recommend they either change potentially damaging policies before they become a reputational crisis -- or that they reveal what they know before the media find out in the first place.

Anyway, I'm glad you commented on my post. It helped me find your blog, which is smartly-written and content-rich. I've signed up for the RSS feed and look forward to staying informed!

Best wishes,
Brad Phillips
Author, The Mr. Media Training Blog