PR Campaigns – The blog

February 16, 2009

We are PR Practitioners, Not Ambulance Chasers

Filed under: 3's Company PR — lmdavis2 @ 7:58 pm
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Charlotte Risch made an interesting post  in last week’s Valley PR Blog, she claimed that PR practitioners may be the new “ambulance chasers” replacing lawyers, who were previously attached to nickname. The derogatory term, in short, is defined by TIME magazine as a lawyer who persuades an injured person to hire them to sue for personal damages.

Risch made this comparison to ambulance chasers after Nadya Suleman, who gave bith to octoplets in early February after already having six previous children, hired a publicist instead of a nanny. I understand why Risch made this comparison, Suleman should be more focused on her 14 children rather than her relationship with the media. However, Suleman became an overnight sensation in the media.

At first it was positive attention but the headlines started turning against her when the truth behind her controversial pregnancy was revealed. The situation changed from a sensation to a crisis and who better to handle that than a publicist that specializes in crisis management. An ethical PR practitioner should serve as a mediator between Suleman and the media  and advise her on actions she could take to improve her reputation in the public’s eye.  However, if a PR practitioner acts unethically by drawing more attention to the client by making her out to be a “victim,” that would be the “ambulance chaser” that Risch is referring to.

In response to Risch’s frustration with people asking what PR is and questioning its involvement in cases like Suleman, I think we should take this as an opportunity to explain to people what crisis management is. If we explain that when crisis management is done properly and ethically it can be benefical to all parties involved and something good can come out a bad situation.

I understand the resoning behind Risch’s analogy, but we should be hesitant to associate the PR profession to more derrogatory terms than it already is. As long as practioners stick to the ethics the profession is based on (PRSA Ethics), critics will have fewer opportunities to attach it to derogatory terms.

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Chris Brown- PR Nightmare?

Filed under: Step Up Communications,Uncategorized — Nancy Flores @ 7:53 pm
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By now I am sure that everyone has heard about the incident that allegedly took place between singers Chris Brown and Rihanna.  Was anyone else as shocked as I was when all we heard for a week after the incident was nothing?  In every article that was written there was a ‘no comment’ somehow tied in from Chris Brown’s spokespeople and no sight of the singer himself.

Eonline posted a blog before Chris Brown released his apology where the writer reached out to PR professionals who specialize in crisis PR and the only thing they disagreed on was terms that described Brown’s career: ” finished, over or merely done.”  Where was his apology?

Well, it came, a week to late.  Yesterday, MSN.com ran a story talking about how Brown was “sorry and saddened” about what happened.   After reading the story I decided to google “Chris Brown and PR” and the top search results contained the sentence “Chris Brown’s PR team working overtime.”  You search “Chris Brown” and more results about the incident, his abusive past and the fact that all his sponsors and invites to sing at major events (including this past weekend’s AllStar events) are backing out. 

I learned early on that the worst thing you can do is say ‘no comment’ when you have a crisis on your hand.  I highly doubt his publisist was not given enough time to return media phone calls since we didn’t hear anything for a full week.

I decided to look up mistakes in a PR crisis and come across one that I really on   Cyber Alert: “Only Start Work on a Potential PR Crisis Situation after It’s Public.”  I really wonder what was behind the reason for not commenting right after the rumors started.  Was there a strategic reasoning behind it or did the PR person make a mistake and that is why they are “working overtime” now?

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