- Communicate positive news to the surrounding community and create employee, vendor and client pride.
- Establish a presence within your industry.
- Outline company direction and purpose through consistent communication with all of your constituencies.
Event Public Relations
The HUMMER H2 arrived with great fanfare. The advance advertising and reviews had created a circus atmosphere for what was the most anticipated new vehicle launch of the new millennium. Dan Acree was responsible for creating special events to help launch the H2.
Much of what makes an event successful is purely textbook. If you follow the list of “things to do” you will have covered most of the bases. Of course, knowing what should be on the list comes from experience. Add a healthy amount of creativity and you have the makings of a very special event.
Acree Creative knows how to create excitement. With a decade spent in Hollywood, Dan Acree is skilled at creating buzz. Acree was team leader for the opening of the King Kong Experience at Universal Studio Tour in Hollywood and has staged hundreds of events.
Crisis Public Relations
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and always seek an opportunity in the middle of your PR crisis situations. Companies face crises all the time—product recalls, plant closings, tainted products, a crime committed by an employee, a branded item found at a crime scene, a company leader making a poor personal decision. The fact that we only hear select stories of this kind in the news and at the water cooler illustrates the power of effective crisis communications.
Following are six steps toward a positive crisis resolution.
Preparation is primary.
Consider a crisis plan an insurance policy for your company image. With a plan in place, or at least a cursory examination of potential scenarios, if a crisis hits, you can spend crucial time implementing the plan rather than trying to figure out where to start. Preparedness can include developing a detailed crisis strategy, creating media materials in advance, arranging media training for key executives and pre-establishing a crisis team.
Make sure you have all the facts.
Gather as much information about the situation as quickly as possible and from a variety of sources. Then talk with your legal counsel and your communications counsel to see what information can be released and what should remain confidential. You will need to share crucial information while ensuring that you do not jeopardize your corporate image. Continually talk through the situation with your trusted counsel. Stay in constant contact with your senior management or crisis team.
Take immediate action to minimize danger to life.
If any lives are in jeopardy, be sure to immediately address those concerns. Negligence with human life will be unforgiven by the public.
Tell the truth.
Be sure that any information you release to the media or the public is truthful. If something you say is false, your credibility will be irreparably damaged. If the information you have is potentially damaging to you or your company, and no one has specifically asked about it (or it has not yet been made public), you do not need to divulge it, at least not immediately. It is not necessary to throw fuel on the fire. If, however, the information is in the public domain, you must immediately react with a truthful response. If you do not know the answer, say that you do not know and that you will try to get the information being requested.
Show you care and be sincere.
Do your best to understand what the public concerns will be and address those concerns directly.
Linda Lay, the wife of the late former Enron chairman Kenneth Lay, likely created more harm than good when she tearfully said on the nationally televised Today Show, “We are fighting for liquidity. We don’t want to go bankrupt.” The American public felt her comments showed a lack of sincerity and an acute lack of sympathy for the many Enron workers whose life savings had just been wiped out. Be sympathetic to those affected by the issue at hand.
Use common sense.
Think through the different crisis resolution scenarios. If your gut instinct is that they are off the mark, get more information and keep thinking. Trust yourself and your closest advisors. While no one can predict a crisis, appropriate foresight and thought can mean the difference between maintaining a stellar corporate reputation and the dreadful alternative.
Acree Creative can work with your company to respond to a crisis situation and formulate a plan, quickly.