When is a crisis a crisis?

Crisis public relations firms are often retained to do two things. Either keep their client out of the news, or help their client respond to negative allegations.

The key to an effective crisis PR strategy is timing. If an organization believes there is a threat to their reputation, they want to be ready. We’ve all heard the phrase, “get ahead of the story.” But in reality, many impending crises never happen.

So it becomes a bit of a dilemma. Do you go out there are defend yourself before anything happens, or do you wait? Talking too quickly can put you in the position of creating a story that hasn’t — and perhaps won’t occur. Obviously, nobody wants that.

Having a solid PR strategy that takes all scenarios into account is step one. Finding the right balance of being ready and moving forward when the need becomes apparent is the best strategy unless a legal case has been filed and you know for certain it will blow up.

That’s what PR firms do. Bring a clear perspective and vision to a situation and formulate the right PR strategy that protects their clients’ reputations while not inadvertently creating a crisis that never would have happened.