When tell someone I’m a public relations major, 9 times out of 10 they mention a current PR crisis a company or person is going through and ask what I would have done. More often than not, these people assume crisis management is the only aspect of communication a PR professional is responsible for.
To a certain extent this is understandable because crisis management is a very important aspect of being a PR professional. Brad Phillips discussed the 8 worst media disasters of February a few weeks ago, and I want to focus one what he placed at #1.
Representatives from Susan G. Komen Race for The Cure were guest speakers in one of my PR lectures last year. These women were PR professionals, and based on what I heard that day, this organization’s communication efforts are in very capable hands. However, Nancy Brinker was able to make a complete fool of herself.
How was she able to do this when her PR staff had no doubt laid out a very solid list of key messages and prepared answers for this interview?
The short answer to this is this: when you are a PR professional, your bosses are not always going to listen to you. They are above you and often by that merit think they know better than you. This story proves otherwise.