Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Take it from me, damage control is better when you do it sooner rather than later!

Submitted by: Beth Kneisler, Account Assistant, Leonard & Finco Public Relations

I recently transitioned from an apartment (which was approximately the size of my foot) to a spacious three-story duplex with a large yard. Having the extra space has been wonderful, but with my new home comes responsibilities I didn’t have when living in my apartment, one in particular being lawn care. The problem with taking care of my lawn isn’t that I don’t have a lawn mower, it’s that I can’t get it started. I’ve actually been told by someone I know, who very well could be a lawn mower expert, that my mower is one of the easiest to start models currently on the market.

Anyway, not being able to start my mower really hasn’t been a problem this summer since it’s been so dry but, with the recent rains we’ve had and given the fact that the last time the lawn was mowed was mid-June, it’s getting to the point where I can’t let my dog out without being on leash as I’m worried he won’t be able to find his way back to the house. So, currently I’m in a bit of a bind. I don’t want you to feel bad for me, I mean it’s my own fault. I’ve known since the first day I got my mower that I couldn’t start it, but rather than be proactive and get an electric starter installed or at minimum lift some weights, praying for a drought seemed like the better option (and boy did that backfire).

Businesses that have this same train of thought of not worrying or preparing for a problem or challenge until it happens are breaking one of the cardinal rules of good PR. Even if your company has been around since the invention of the wheel, has never had to deal with a crisis or has never had to work to repair a damaged reputation, a crisis could still happen to your business. Getting prepared now for when that day does come is crucial to your brand and survival. A good crisis management plan should outline possible threats and how you’re going to address them, as well as internal and external communications strategies for those situations, a strategy for dealing with the media and updated information about your business as well as a list of contacts. By planning for a potential crisis now, your business can not only survive, but may also come out with an even better reputation than before. This is a much better plan than having to do damage control after the fact, which is what I’ll be doing with my yard (a.k.a . “The Jungle”), as soon as I can find someone to bribe.

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