Chapter 19   Leave a comment

“Reality is perception” what an incredible quote.  I haven’t come across a single quote that has better summed up Public Relations yet.  This is essentially the cornerstone behind the importance of Public Relations.  While most of this book has been devoted to different aspects and methods of the Public Relations field, catastrophe is really where the field proved it’s worth.  Starting with Rockefeller all those years ago, the noble and much needed art of Public Relations has shown time and time again that it is the best way to maintain the specific image that any organization/company would want to employ.

I think that Seitel’s section on Issues Management and Crisis Management were incredibly well thought out.  This kind of advice can be applied to just about any kind of trouble that an individual may find themselves in.  I know that I’ve had issues with the way that I was perceived in the past and I have successfully used these techniques to solve the problem.  While I didn’t know the exact guidelines then, the way that Seitel lays out his guidelines in such an innate and simple manner that anybody could figure them out.

I think that the examples section in this chapter was even more helpful than normal.  It is easy to read passages that outline the correct way to respond to a crisis, but you can really apply that kind of knowledge when you have real examples to work with.  Take into consideration the Duke Lacrosse fiasco of 2006, and how everybody involved from the student athletes to the University itself was left scrambling for cover in wave of crushing accusations.  While the charges were ultimately dropped, the courts didn’t end the suffering for another full year.  Those poor students were rapped up in something that required cellphone research, DNA testing, arrests, suspension, let alone the entire lacrosse team lost it’s eligibility for an entire athletic season.

The three players that were falsely accused

While everything was ultimately fixed, the enitre situation gave testament to the dizzying rate at which disaster can sink in.  First the university is punishing you, then the team gets involved, then the press begins blowing everything way out of proportion (causing national coverage on many instances), elected politicians are offering their own opinions on what happened, and you are suddenly completely taken out of what it means to be a college student, desperately struggling to preserve what little remains of your reputation and image.

Through great lawyers, and even better Public Relations professionals, Duke was able to ultimately restore it’s credibility and reputation.  It also helped that the NCAA granted another year of eligibility to all of the players that lost a season due to the suspension, which lead to an NCAA championship in 2010 (with the last of the 5th year seniors that were on the 2006 team).

 

 

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Posted June 27, 2011 by Big Man in Reading Notes

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