Here’s a video replay of The Crisis Show, which aired February 20, 2013. Host Rich Klein was joined by guest Shel Holtz. We analyzed Carnival Cruise Line’s crisis, Poland Spring’s missed public relations/social media opportunity, the hacking of Burger King’s Twitter account and the creative use of Google+ by TD Bank. For show notes and related links, please visit http://www.TheCrisisShow.com.
It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one. — George Washington
Crisis Management Lesson: Crisis situations are magnified when leaders fail to accept responsibility for their company’s actions. They are also magnified when poor excuses are made for obvious failures –and then the media gets to the truth and calls you out.
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts. –Abraham Lincoln
Crisis Management Lesson: The public is much more likely to forgive mistakes made by an organization IF you are honest about the facts from the very beginning of the crisis – regardless of what some lawyers might tell you.
When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.
John F. Kennedy
Crisis Management Lesson: Don’t get obsessed and stressed about the crisis. Instead, focus energies on the solution. McNeil Consumer Products, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, had a major crisis of confidence on its hands with Tylenol in 1982 – but by creating the first tamper-proof bottles, converted a horrible situation into a golden opportunity that changed an industry and that restored the public’s trust in its products.
You can always amend a big plan, but you can never expand a little one. I don’t believe in little plans. I believe in plans big enough to meet a situation which we can’t possibly foresee now. — Harry S. Truman
Crisis Management Lesson: Don’t just think of a few minor case scenarios when doing your crisis management planning. (You’re not doing crisis management planning?? Let’s talk.) Think of the BIG Crises that could impact your business. For example, plan for a SuperStorm Sandy that floods your offices and destroys customer data – rather than just a brief power outage. Plan for a workplace shooting rather than a testy verbal exchange between employees.
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. — Theodore Roosevelt
Crisis Management Lesson: Companies that do nothing in a crisis are at most risk for loss of reputation and more. Unfortunately, we see all too much of this today. Those organizations that try to do the right thing but get it wrong are often forgiven by the public if they keep working on a solution. Always try to do the right thing FIRST and that will save reputation, often prevent costly litigation and quickly restore any lost public trust. Companies that do the right thing early in a crisis will often see increased revenues and market share once the crisis begins to subside.
My failures have been errors in judgment, not of intent. –Ulysses S. Grant
Crisis Management Lesson: If true, borrow this great quote from Grant when you are publicly responding in a crisis!
For more information about Rich Klein Crisis Management:
And be sure to watch The Crisis Show at 7 pm on most Wednesdays.
Effective February 9, 2013, LawFirmsPR changed its name to Rich Klein Crisis Management to more accurately reflect the majority of the work we now perform for a wide variety of clients. It also syncs nicely with The Crisis Show, a project that we launched in June 2012 to educate leaders about all aspects of crisis management.
Rich Klein has specialized in law firm public relations and law firm crisis communications since the early 1990’s. In recent years, more and more non-law firms sought his counsel for crisis management and online reputation issues, which prompted this name change.
Thank you to everyone who has supported our work thus far and especially to those friends and colleagues who visit this blog.
Although we changed our name, we remain committed to providing valuable content here and on many other social media channels.
We were pleasantly surprised and honored today to receive recognition by a video monitoring/syndication service which praised the “innovation” of The Crisis Show.
Okay, law firms are not products but it doesn’t matter. When the lights went out at the Super Bowl last night, Oreo Cookie quickly Tweeted out a promo infographic with wit. The Twitter post read, “Power out? No problem” with an attached graphic (at left) that showed a cookie and the witty caption, “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark.”
Calvin Klein posted a Vine with the caption “since the lights are still out…” that featured guys with six-pack abs wearing their underwear. Both reaped attention, increased visibility of the brands and likely resulted in additional business.
The lesson here is that law firms, too, need to act more quickly to capitalize on breaking news events. That often means not following the plan or script and it also means getting very quick approval – something lawyers often have trouble with.
But if a law firm wants to stand out from the crowd — however you define your competition — then being bold AND timely is a great combination that demands prospective clients’ attention. It may even result in high profile media coverage like Oreo and Calvin Klein received last night and today.
So how can a law firm that prides itself on its collegial, buttoned-down atmosphere be bold and timely?
Sometimes it’s as simple as issuing a snappy statement reacting to a high-profile, high impact court decision. Other times, it’s using social media to show thought leadership/ legal knowledge while demonstrating to a younger generation of entrepreneurs (possible future clients) that you understand new media.
What are you doing at your law firm to take advantage of breaking news opportunities? If you just have a website and no social media properties, you will lose the game before kickoff.
It’s time to get in the game by thinking how your firm can use tools like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest and Vine. But you also need thoughtful, witty content to stay alive in the game. And yes you can do it without violating lawyer advertising rules.
Naturally, I have some ideas that have worked for other law firms. But not to worry…they don’t involve cookies or mens’s underwear.