The likelihood of an organization facing crisis in their lifetime is guaranteed in today’s climate. According to an ODM Group study, 59% of business decision makers have experienced a crisis in either their current or previous company.
Every company needs a crisis communications plan, because, like companies themselves, a crisis can come in any shape or size, in any industry sector, any geographic location, on any day at any time of year.
It was never easy, but public relations is much more complex today than it ever has been. Social media platforms, content marketing, influencer engagement, etc. have led PR to be involved in enhanced orchestration, big ideas, communication skills and strategic planning.
From Aristotle to Zuckerberg, thousands of speakers for thousands of years have used speaking engagements as a key marketing tool to inform, persuade or entertain their audiences.
An elevator speech is an old-school term for a timeless concept. People don’t even talk on elevators anymore, unless of course they’re on their phones talking to someone not on the elevator.
In recent years, crises are no longer a question of if, but when. Research shows that companies today have an 82% chance of experiencing a corporate disaster, defined as a whopping 20% loss of market value, within a 5-year period. 20 years ago, the likelihood was just 20%, a consequence of the rise of social media and the open flow of information on the internet.
When you’ve been in the PR game as long as I have (why bother with the math), sooner or later you end up publicizing about everything there is to promote. I’ve had a few wins along the way:
Since 1960, public relations is what wins elections. 1960 featured the famous Kennedy-Nixon debate, the first ever televised debate where radio listeners felt Nixon won but TV viewers overwhelming sided with Kennedy.
So a 30-second Super Bowl spot is going for a cool $5 million in 2016. The 50th Super Bowl, as they say, is in tall cotton.
Public relations (PR) was created to influence, some say manipulate, public opinion. It’s true in the early days, and for a lot of the next six decades, propaganda and manipulation (coined “spin”) were often the rule of the day, especially for high-powered lobbies and politicians who had products or ideas they needed to sell, despite a few skeletons in the closet.
The mishandling of the Volkswagen emission scandal came early and often. To use baseball terminology, and actually emission terminology as well, Volkswagen “whiffed.”