Monday, May 12, 2008

When Crisis PR Professionals Face A Crisis

This week's issue of Crain's Detroit Business profiles national PR expert (note: not PR guru) Judy Smith of Washington, D.C.-based Impact Strategies. It's interesting to note that Ms. Smith cites seven bullet points that serve as the ABC's of Crisis PR. Well, okay, that's not interesting. What is interesting is that her client, Kwame Kilpatrick, is not following any of them. He was almost laughed off the stage when he said at a public forum a few weeks back that he couldn't resign because the city would be plunged into chaos. Methinks the Mayor has spent too long looking at that visual representation of the word "Chaos" that morphs into the word "Order" when stared at intensely. Well to be fair, Mr. Mayor has tried to divert attention away from the crisis (Refocus Attention - bullet point #6) by highlighting other city crises, er, I mean successes, but that requires about a column inch of news. Hence, the media heads back to the main crisis.

Bullet point #5 presents a conundrum for the Mayor. It requires having a "truth squad" to monitor what's being said against what is true. Regrettably, his truth squad lies about published media reports that are, alas, true.

For crisis communications strategies that actually have meaning, I refer my readers to my blog post of April 15. In the meantime, I'd strongly advise Ms. Smith to resign this account. It's bad for her business.