So you're a company who has undergone mass criticism related to something within your realm of control, and you need a quick guide as to how best to minimize damage to your reputation as much as possible, because after all, that's all that matters.
Today I'd like to teach you how President Obama's public relations experts have coached him to tackle any crisis with staged empathy, great concern and affirmative action.
President Obama's Public Relations Crisis Playbook
Step 1: Get in Good with the Media
Recently an ex-CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson revealed in her book, (Stonewalled) a history of media protection for President Obama and his administration. By fostering positive relationships with the press, you can rest assured any damage inflicted by you or your company will be covered by the media, yet, with gentle hands, a sympathetic version of your perspective and an ever so subtle wink, and nod.
Step 2: Address Situation on Live Television
However, DO NOT allow any questions. This would be like your parents inspecting how clean your room is, and then inviting them in to check your closet where all of your toys, clothes and junk is piled up!
Going live gives the appearance and perception you are open to discuss the matter in an open and live forum, by not taking questions, you really aren't. Just keep that little secret to yourself!
Step 3: Express Outrage
You should be 'mad as hell" or actually "madder than hell" (President Obama stated with regard to Veterans Affairs scandals), and feel free to express that.
Take the side of the public at large affected by the scandal, and not as the one who could have prevented it.
Step 4: Tell People You Had Nothing to Do with Current Crisis
People probably have no idea how your organization works, what influence you have over day-to-day activities or if you had any control over this scandal at all.
As a result, you can absolve yourself from any responsibility, all while claiming you will now take full responsibility for the subsequent clean-up. Genius!
Step 5: Promise Full, Transparent Investigation and Reforms
You can't have a scandal and not promise you'll get to the bottom of it. Also, be sure to promise great reforms in the way things are done.
This is one of the most important aspects of you patching up your company's reputation all while, hopefully, making drastic changes to influence positive change. But if you don't, your secret is safe with me!
Step 6: Go Enjoy the Day!
You're the leader of your organization, so all you really have to be concerned with is shutting the media up, making the public happy and getting in 18 holes of golf before the sun touches the horizon!
Feel free to drive from your press conference directly to the golf course; however, make sure the media doesn't see! Also, don't forget to call your assistant to have them destroy any evidence that incriminates you, or links you to the scandal, such as those pesky emails.
I hope you enjoyed this parody about pubic relations. Although, many a truth said in jest...Don't compete — DOMINATE.
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