On media relations & issues management: We’ve got your back

Not long ago, an acquaintance of mine was having a really bad week. Likely the worst week of his professional life.

He had done some admittedly dumb stuff years ago. It was stuff he’d grown to regret because he had matured and he had long since changed his ways.

He had the benefit of hindsight, and he hoped his actions would stay in the past.

They didn’t.

Someone found out about them, told a competitor, and the competitor used that information to their advantage.

The competitor called a friendly reporter, and the reporter ran with the story. It was front page news and the news report said my acquaintance had refused to comment.

His side of the story, his regret, and the actions he had taken proactively and privately to make amends for something he felt genuinely bad about were nowhere to be found.

All that his local paper’s readers (many of whom were his customers) saw was what his competitor wanted them to see, along with quotes from people who were critical of actions he knew clearly were wrong.

When I asked him why he didn’t comment (or come to me sooner for advice), he said: “I was so embarrassed, I didn’t know what to say. And I didn’t want to say something that could make things worse. So, I chose not to say anything at all. I realize now that was the wrong call.”

(The harsh black and white of a newspaper can do wonders for realizations like that.)

Ultimately, we got his side of the story out, and people who were paying attention would have seen some of the things my acquaintance had done in an (honest and good faith) attempt to reconcile past actions he regretted.

But, invariably, some people who only saw that original report missed his side of things.

Those people’s views are likely forever coloured about my acquaintance and his business.

His experience, while cautionary, is not unique.

And simply hoping that something unflattering or inconvenient stays quiet is not a strategy.

Canada’s media landscape has changed dramatically in recent years.

Social media, of course, means any story – whether true or not – can go viral in mere minutes.

And traditional journalists are fewer in number and face greater demands than ever.

With tight deadlines, scarce resources, competing narratives, and fierce competition to get a story first – journalists today won’t necessarily wait for you to get your act together to respond.

When their call comes, you need to be ready.

And if something online puts your reputation at risk, you need to respond effectively.

After all, your brand – your reputation and how people feel about your organization – is your greatest asset.

That’s where we come in.

We understand the needs and realities of journalists today, and we’ve been on the receiving end of breathless and urgent media calls.

We’ve turned the temperature down on simmering issues just as they threatened to boil over publicly.

We’ve helped guide organizations of all sizes and across sectors through challenges to their organizational integrity.

We’re ready to put that experience to work for you.

People deserve to hear your side of every story that affects you.

They deserve to have the facts at hand so they can share the truth within their own networks.

They need to hear from you directly so they can support you going forward.

We have more than decade of high-level crisis communications leadership and support.

We can help you avoid spin, tell your truth, and be your authentic self as you fight to preserve your reputation.

Investments in issues management will help you protect your greatest asset.

And because the best issues management happens well before a crisis hits, we can help prepare you and your organization for *if and when* things go wrong.

We offer bilingual media relations training to help you get through critical interviews and thrive in scrums.

We can also help you weather those toughest of times with strategies and tactics tailored to you.

When it matters most, we’ve got your back.

Make the bad weeks better. Let’s discuss how we can help. Get in touch today.

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