Crisis Communications Is a Moment of Truth for Trust

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Scott Baradell

Like reputation management, crisis communications is PR playing defense. I've worked crises ranging from workplace shootings to scandalous lawsuits and more, and the stakes are never higher when it comes to a brand preserving buyer trust.

I'm sometimes asked, "What's the difference between reputation management and crisis communications?" My answer is that it's like baseball: when a pitcher faces a homerun hitter with a tie score in the bottom of the ninth, that's either going to be a crisis or a crisis averted. When a pitcher ends the season with a low or high ERA, that pitcher has earned either a good reputation or a bad one.

The biggest crisis I've faced in my career was a doozy. It was a tech outage that affected millions of Americans, and I was the face of that crisis for two full days -- on TV, in print and online. It was exhausting but rewarding. When you handle a crisis well, the halo effect for your brand can be powerful.

Read the full story of the "Great Pager Outage" for some specific lessons learned.

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