Have a “PR Problem?” PR is Usually Not the Problem

Posted by on Feb 22, 2012 in CHI Contemplation
Tags: public relations, pr, pr tips, public relations firms, pr basics

We often hear that some company or institution or celebrity has a “PR problem.” This week, for example, the CommPro.biz public relations site reports that “NASA needs PR help” to secure future billions in funding, and “LeBron James hires new PR strategist to rehab image.” You surely can think of others with a “PR problem.” Monsanto, the climate research unit at the University of East Anglia, Lindsay Lohan – just to name a few. All too often, the situation is portrayed as a “PR problem.” If the troubled person/company/institution could just get a new, improved image, everything would be OK.

It’s not that easy. And PR usually isn’t the problem. “The problem” is the problem. Get to work fixing the problem. Then – through strategic, fact-based public relations –  tell your audiences and influencers what you’ve done or are doing about it. Tell them you recognize and understand the problem and its causes. Tell them you determined a solution and where you are in the process of fixing the problem. Tell them what it means for your brand, your products, your employees, your shareholders, your industry. Treat your audiences with respect.

You might regain their long-term trust.

Treating your situation as a “PR problem” might fool some people in the short run, but it won’t solve your real problem.


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