Monday, August 13, 2012

PRSA Weighs in on Penn State

Earlier this summer, the Counselors to Higher Education group within PRSA noted that in the Freeh Report that it appeared the internal PR staff at Penn State was a non-factor -- neither consulted and in the one reference in the report, ineffective.

The PRSay column by Gerard Corbett about where PR should be in a crisis of this magnitude is required reading -- for "C"-level executives.

The five-points given are spot on, but one in particular brings it all into sharp focus:

At Penn State, senior officials don’t appear to have consulted with the public relations professionals who could have helped the university avert the crisis it is now facing.

Can't help if you're not asked, but I also know, you can't be a part of the solution if you are seen as "being negative" for pointing out the problems.

By the way, if you don't believe it could happen at your institution, read through this checklist from Poynter.  Jill Geisler is brutal -- BRUTAL -- about the eight ways you could be at risk, starting with:

Your organization uses words like “integrity” and “values” in promotional literature, but leaders rarely utter them in the course of daily decisions, much less the toughest ones.

That's just number one.

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