Pete Kazanjy

If you can internalize one thing in [the PR] process, it’s that the journalist is your customer. They are busy, overworked, with deadlines, and lots of irrelevant dogshit pitches crufting up their inbox. And they have their own constituencies to please (their readers, their editors). This is why this is B2B sales: you’re selling them on something that is going to make them successful at … [ Read more ]

John Danner

Most businesses rehearse their response to a calamity of some sort. Almost everyone, for example, conducts fire drills. Many test their business continuity contingency plans. The problem is that most organizations do not rehearse for the real threats that are most likely to have a significant impact on the business. How many companies run a drill for a product launch failure? Or an M&A bomb? … [ Read more ]

Andy Grove

Bad companies are destroyed by crisis. Good companies survive them. Great companies are improved by them.

Dick Martin

Public relations has two roles: advocacy and counsel. Counsel usually takes a backseat to advocacy, which always seems more urgent at the moment. But effective counsel can make advocacy less critical. Many CEOs look for good writing from their PR counselors because that’s the stuff of advocacy. What they should be looking for is good thinking, which is the foundation of effective counsel.

Harold Burson

PR is an applied social science focused on two things: behavior and communications. The big problem these days is that we spend too much time on communication and not enough on behavior, and that’s why the public distrusts our institutions so much.

Dr. Peter Fuda

Next time you find yourself in a crisis moment, ask this question: what is the best outcome from here? Firstly, those around you will likely go into shock. We are not used to hearing an intelligent, helpful question in a crisis situation. Once they get over their shock, it will work for three reasons: It assumes that there actually is an outcome; It focuses everybody … [ Read more ]

Matt Miller

In a crisis there’s a search for pragmatic answers and a sense that ideology is a luxury.

David J. Snowden and Mary E. Boone

Unfortunately, most leadership “recipes” arise from examples of good crisis management. This is a mistake, and not only because chaotic situations are mercifully rare…Indeed, a specific danger for leaders following a crisis is that some of them become less successful when the context shifts because they are not able to switch styles to match it.

Moreover, leaders who are highly successful in chaotic contexts can develop … [ Read more ]

Ross Campbell

Crisis management is only as strong as its most distant parts. The best crisis management plans have a consistent process across all an organization’s sites. A crisis manager from head office should be able to walk onto any site in that organization and play a part of the crisis response team anywhere; similarly, a member of the most distant site of that organization should be … [ Read more ]

Arthur W. Page

All business begins with the public permission and exists by public approval. . . . So we, like all other companies, live by public approval, and roughly speaking, the more approval you have the better you live. Of course, the fundamental way of getting [approval] is to deserve it.

Dick Martin

CEOs should ask a potential PR counselor who the company’s most important audience is. If the answer is anyone other than a company’s own employees, the CEO should keep looking.

Dick Martin

Effective PR counselors understand the business that they represent as well as do their peers in the executive suite, and they work with them to meet the needs of the company’s multiple stakeholders. They adopt a businessperson’s perspective, not a journalist’s. Good press is not an end in itself, and bad press is not to be avoided at any cost — certainly not at the … [ Read more ]

Dick Martin

Business has a bad image today not because it is too focused on creating wealth but, rather, because it has defined the beneficiaries of that wealth creation too narrowly. Corporations exist to create wealth for all who provide their resources and bear the risks of their failure. Such wealth comes in the form of dividends, rising stock prices, jobs, careers, healthier communities, and valuable products … [ Read more ]