Sunday, December 2, 2007

Storytelling and crisis management

Sitting in the hair salon today I overheard a stylist and his client say that this week's celebrity magazine cover story was "all public relations crap" - meaning that whatever celebrity was the subject of the story was clearly trying to undo some recent damage.

That, in a nutshell, is the problem. When a story rings false with only a quick glance at the headline, your public relations efforts have done more harm than good. Storytelling only works when your audience is able to receive the message of the story. If the story is rejected before it's message can be heard, it's not worth telling.

When crisis hits - and it will - sometimes the best strategy is not an outright denial. In those moments, it's often best to return to the agency's roots. Tell the one story that rings true no matter the circumstances - the story of the agency's mission, vision and purpose.

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