Promotion and protection: the promise of coverage is often a key selling point when prospective clients are seeking out a PR agency, but when you’re putting your head above the media parapet, I would argue that brand protection and reputation management should be a more critical consideration.
A celebrity when they have a TV programme or album to push, a business that wants to spotlight its latest life-enhancing innovation, a charity that may wish to create some buzz around its latest campaign…‘Promotion’ will often be the primary consideration when a client hires a PR agency. Delivery, column inches, blanket coverage that all lead to engagement and conversion, that heighten the public’s proclivity to invest time and money in a person, product, or brand.
All is well and good when the exposure is positive. But what about the element of ‘Protection’ when things don’t quite go to plan?
As specialists in Crisis and Reputation Management, The PHA Group would argue that the element of ‘Protection’ is equally paramount, if not greater. Whether you are a person of profile that has made a very public mistake, an individual of influence with a ticking time-bomb of a skeleton in your closet or a business operating in a ‘high risk’ sector, you need to be proactive and pre-emptive.
When considering PR options, you need to make sure that you instruct an agency that has a dedicated and specialised Crisis and Reputation Department. It is a decision that will pay dividends and give you unparalleled peace of mind.
Every PR agency will attest to having the best media contacts book and creative minds in the business. But not all of them have decades of experience in helping their clients to navigate the media minefield.
The media largely shapes and informs the court of public opinion. The media can make or break you. Fall afoul of the media and a reputation that took a lifetime to build can be shattered overnight. And the immediacy of social media has only fueled the extent to which negative coverage can snowball.
You could be the manager, lawyer, or agent of a household name who has been caught doing something they should not. They stand to lose their job, their lucrative endorsements axed. You could be the CEO or Communications Manager of a business, stung by a product recall or a whistleblower that kills all consumer confidence in your brand. Whatever the scenario, if you are being scrutinized and attacked by the media, or indeed, are fearful of potential scrutiny and attack, you need to act quickly.
Do not think you are immune and impervious to a line of inquiry from the media. Do not waste time and let the situation fester to the point of no return. And do not presume you have the experience to go it alone.
Instead, hire an agency with the best Crisis and Reputation Management credentials who can think ahead and deploy the necessary preventive measures and strategic steps to prepare their clients for any worst-case scenario. Go-to fixers, on hand 24/7, who can protect the reputation of an individual or company should a crisis ever break. The perfect insurance policy.
The Reputation Department at The PHA Group offers a suite of crisis and reputation management services, depending on the nature of the reputational brief and what we as media experts determine to be the best course of remedial action for our clients.
We are constantly attuned to the news agenda, which means we are constantly attuned to what the public is thinking and feeling. Our fingers are always on the pulse of public perception and this is crucial when it comes to fine-tuning the key messaging of our clients and informing and shaping their statements to the press. We understand all the sensitivities and complexities.
As former journalists ourselves, we’re perfectly placed to prepare all our clients for any contact with the media and our in-house Media Training combines top-level theory from some of the most respected former national newspaper journalists in the country.
And because we have worked with the editors of all the national newspapers in a previous life, we have a direct dial to every one of influence in a broad cross-section of media. When we call them, they listen, giving us greater leverage to stem and correct any misinformation in the media and reclaim control of the narrative. Time and time again, we set up safe and controlled interviews with only the most trusted of journalists so that our clients can set the record straight in their own voice, on their own terms.
If you are risk-averse, operate in a high stakes sector, in the public eye, already in the throes of a crisis or if you simply want to safeguard your business and brand from a future crisis – warrant careful consideration to the above and hire boutique Reputation specialist to promote and protect you.