When you find yourself with legal issues, whether it’s something personal or because of issues with your business, your first instinct should be to call a lawyer. This will ensure you get the best possible advice on what your next moves should be, and you can hopefully minimize any damage caused, but should your next call be to a PR firm? If you’re a high-profile individual or run a successful business, then legal problems could be damaging to your reputation, so a PR firm may help you control this aspect of the case.
Think about how the case may be reported
Many media outlets thrive on negative headlines, and when they’re about you or your business, this can hurt you in a number of ways. Many companies have found themselves suffering due to bad publicity, which can mean falling profits and boycotts, while high-profile individuals may find that they lose out both personally and professionally due to media coverage.
While a PR firm can’t make bad publicity go away completely, there are many ways in which they can make the fallout less dramatic. People who work in PR understand how the press works and so can monitor what’s being said about you in the media and help you respond accordingly. Whether it’s press releases or publicity, there are lots of ways you can turn the situation to your advantage.
Finding people who can speak for you
If you’re having legal issues, it’s important to have people on your side who can speak up on your behalf, and a PR firm can help you do this. You may already need to find an expert witness for your court case, so you’ll know the importance of having reliable, knowledgeable people on hand who can speak the truth. Companies or individuals who are going through a crisis will often use spokespeople who can speak up for them, such as employees or friends, whether it’s to the media, in interviews or in other situations, and a PR firm can ensure that they’re well-prepared to take on this challenge. We can also brief people who are likely to be contacted by the press, from CEOs to those involved in the case, ensuring they don’t leak essential details.
Creating a crisis management plan
Many companies don’t already have a crisis management plan in place, which means that when they have a legal issue, they’re unprepared with what to do. Making a crisis management plan will ensure that if your business has certain legal issues, from a data breach to a product recall, people at all levels will know what to do and there will be pre-prepared statements in place until your PR firm can take over. This avoids panic and hastily written statements that can cause further damage.
Most companies or high-profile individuals will need help with their PR at some point, for many different reasons, but it’s often not until a crisis such as a legal issue hits that people think about hiring a PR firm. If you haven’t already, start looking at your crisis plans now, so you can be sure you know what to do if legal troubles hit.
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