Bad PR – The Risk That Got Away?

This morning it hit me like a hijackers’ pistol crashing through my Beemer’s window!

Yes I know, maybe a bit dramatic but in any case, I was busy reading Heather Yaxley’s post “PR perspective on Health & Safety” over at The Wardman Wire when it happened.

Heather wrote an interesting post about the role of the Public Relations (PR) consultant in managing the more strategic issues, usually in the form of corporate crises and frequently requiring them to protect the “organisation’s reputation as a result of a lapse in health and safety”.

Now I had the privilege to look at a number of Risk Assessments in my life and I can’t ever remember seeing anything relating to bad PR in any of them.

It may well be that the scope of the Risk Assessments that I have looked at only concerns a specific site and the main objective of the people involved with doing the Risk Assessment is to focus on their site activities. In other words, their main function is to produce and to manage the risks that go with the territory. Handling PR is not their core duty.

I have seen that paragraph in the “External Communications” procedure. No-one talks to the media except the So-and-So manager.

I also can’t remember the last time I thought a company or their So-and-So manager handled a crisis well in the media. Is this because organisations fail to prepare well or is it because the media always know the best course of action in case of such an event?

Maybe it shows that the paragraph in your “External Communications” procedure is not adequate.

Yes, go on, I know you want to reach for your Health, Safety and Environmental manual – it is there on the top shelf in the corner.


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