When No News Is Good News

April 21, 2015

Some of the best PR never makes the headlines. Often the soundest advice is that which prevents a rash decision. That means making sure the right members of your team are in the room whenever a big decision is made to get a variety of perspectives – and to ask the right questions: Is this an overreaction? What will be the reaction from the media and the public? Will we regret this in the morning?

A self-imposed crisis is almost always created with the best of intentions. A negative situation seems to call for a response, any response – the stronger the better. Organizations will act swiftly and boldly to demonstrate accountability. Instead they demonstrate impulsiveness and generate a bigger problem than the one with which they started.

This can be avoided by giving cooler heads the opportunity to prevail. The top decision-makers might be too close to the situation to make the right call. They should consult their big-picture people, the ones who seem to have a feel for how things play out in the community. This advice doesn’t always need to be heeded, but it must always be heard. It’s better to get those tough questions before the news hits the headlines than to be dealing with the aftermath when it’s too late. There’s no better way to manage a crisis than to prevent one.