Corporate crises are inevitable. But the way companies respond to them can have a huge impact on how long they last and how much reputational damage they inflict.
Baretz+Brunelle Founding Partner Cari Brunelle was asked to join a recent Legal Marketing Association podcast on the topic of crisis communications, where host Ryan King of Ogletree Deakins interviewed Cari, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp’s Douglas Gold and Elizabeth Lampert of Elizabeth Lampert PR on how law firms can mitigate the impact of a crisis. They appeared on episode 17 of LMA’s Prepare for Impact podcast.
When asked how legal PR pros should respond when they find themselves in a crisis, Cari outlined three courses of action. First, “know what you’re dealing with. You have to know all of the facts, especially the bad ones.” Second, she says that a PR professional should assemble a team that “includes all perspectives,” without getting so big that it’s unwieldy. It should be “a tight group that you can trust.”
Last, Cari advises that firms should “have a plan, and stick to it. Don’t let the media or other events dictate how you respond in a general fashion…don’t get caught up in the emotions of the moment.”
All three panelists stressed the importance of getting out in front of any potential crisis, because, as Douglas Gold notes, “waiting until you’re in the midst of it is problem number one.”