Go Ugly Early

Dr. Joe Trahan, APR, Fellow PRSA
Examples of bad crisis management are readily available, and
a common universal element is a slow response.
For media relations trainer and PR strategist Dr. Joe Trahan, APR, Fellow PRSA, of Trahan & Associates, the rule is simple: “go ugly early.” In other words, get out and take
control of the crisis before it takes control of your organization. “Only two
things age well: women and wine,” quips Trahan. “Bad news doesn’t.”
Trahan suggests a communications response within seven minutes in order to
stay ahead of a rapidly-evolving crisis communications landscape that includes social
media and mobile technology.
Dr. Trahan will share his knowledge of crisis communications
and leadership through two different sessions at next month’s
NAGC Communications School.
Trahan, an avid New Orleans Saints fan, uses his favorite
football team as an example of bad crisis management and communications. The
football team is now embroiled in a scandal about bounties put on opposing
players that has resulted in a number of fines and suspensions. Trahan says
that quickly responding and allowing head coach Sean Payton to address the
allegations would have allowed the Saints to control the situation and better
manage their image.
Trahan, is no stranger to PR,
communications and crisis management. In addition to his work with
Trahan & Associates, he is the current Chair of Public Affairs
and Government section at the Public Relations Society of America and a Faculty
Advisor at
Georgia State University. He has more than 20 years of public
relations/affairs experience in governmental, association and educations and
non-profit public relations. In addition, he’s Lt. Col. (Ret.) Joe Trahan,
United States Army Reserve, former Commander of the 314th Public Affairs
Center in Birmingham, Ala. He has successfully operated four Joint Information
Bureaus and one
Joint Information Center from
1991 – 1994.
Back to going ugly early – do you have examples of how your
organization has done that?

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