A recent article spotlighted the important role PR plays in the news.
When some people think of public relations, they have a less-than-flattering image in mind. This includes preconceived notions of ultra-slick men and women more concerned with telling a tale than telling the truth.
However, a recent article from journalist Daniel Finney highlighted the vital role PR professionals can play in facilitating communication and actually getting news out there, especially in times of crisis.
“I think back to how well Chris Luhring handled crisis communications during and after the 2008 EF5 tornado in Parkersburg [,Iowa],” Finney wrote for The Des Moines Register. “Luhring was the city's police chief then. He was incident commander after the powerful tornado killed seven in his own community and two more in nearby New Hartford. There were regular briefings to the news media to keep the mass of local, state and national reporters satisfied. The media, in turn, broadcast that to a wider audience than would have been possible simply by word of mouth.”
Finney pointed out how Luhring worked to protect the grieving and displaced from a hungry media eager to interview them while still ensuring the general public and those watching at home across the country had all pertinent information.
While Luhring worked in law, not PR (although God knows the two overlap from time to time, but that’s another topic for another day), his actions during the disaster spotlighted exactly the kind of vital role PR pros play.
While brand disasters are typically far less threatening than those caused by Mother Nature, the role of the PR professional doesn’t change. They are on hand to protect those who require protection while ensuring the public at large receives the information it wants.
In short, they’re essential, and any company that fails to see this is setting itself up for a major headache when disaster inevitably strikes.
Click here to read Finney’s article.