My Journey in the World of Public Relations
My story begins in the classrooms of New York University, where I earned degrees in public administration and psychotherapy. As a young graduate, I was eager to apply my knowledge in the real world. As fate would have it, I found myself thrust into the heart of public service, serving as a Public Information Officer for the City of New York.
In June 2001, merely three months into my role, the world was rocked by the tragic events of 9/11. This unimaginable crisis was a baptism by fire into the world of crisis management. From then on, I knew that my mission was to help the City of New York and later organizations navigate crises and protect their reputations in the face of adversity.
Since then, I have spent more than two decades working with national and international companies and governments, including the NYC Parks Department, the Empire State Development Corporation, and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants USA.
From spearheading large-scale campaigns and productions to managing intricate crisis communications, my experience has been as diverse as it has been enlightening.
Anatomy of a Crisis: What Constitutes a Crisis?
As we delve deeper into the landscape of public relations crises, it is important to understand that a crisis can take myriad forms, each with unique challenges. Over the years, I have encountered a broad spectrum of crisis scenarios. Allow me to shed light on some of the top 10 types of crises that PR professionals may encounter:
Understanding these various crisis categories and having the strategies in place to handle each one is a fundamental part of any crisis management plan. Preparedness and adaptability are essential in managing these critical aspects of public relations.
Remember, a crisis is not a test of power; it is a test of perseverance, patience, and prudence.
Preemptive Strike: Identifying Potential Crises Early
The old adage, "A stitch in time saves nine," holds particularly true in crisis management. Identifying a potential crisis early can significantly curtail its damaging impact. To be able to predict a crisis, it's crucial to be privy to decision-making and enjoy the trust of the chief executive.
As a trusted member of the organization's top tier, I've been able to influence potential policy missteps and preempt crises.
Preparedness is key in this line of work. A well-drafted, robust crisis management plan can be the saving grace during the onslaught of a PR storm. This is not a luxury but a necessity—an essential tool that can aid in mitigating the negative repercussions of a crisis, restoring public trust, and maintaining business continuity during the most challenging times.
Now that we have laid the groundwork, the stage is set to delve deeper into crisis management. In the upcoming installments of this blog series, I will share insights drawn from my experiences, lessons learned from the crises I've managed, and strategies that have helped maintain effective communication in the face of adversity.
We will examine the vital role of the human element in crisis communication, explore post-crisis strategies, and discuss how to build resilience in the face of future crises.
The journey promises to be enlightening and, hopefully, empowering. So, stay tuned as we navigate the fascinating and challenging world of crisis management together.