Monday, June 03, 2013
Ronn Torossian’s on Navigating Bad Public Relations
There’s an unwritten rule in Public Relations. No matter how you deliver a story, someone out there won’t be happy. That’s a given, but it’s not what we are talking about today. In Ronn Torossian’s career as CEO of NYC PR firm 5W Public Relations, he have seen some very unfortunate situations. When completed, the projects would inherently benefit some people while disappointing others. While you may want to chalk this up to the nature of change, I can assure you that people impacted may see it differently. Before that happens, call Ronn Torossian and 5WPR to help you soften the blow.
Here is how to make the best out of a “bad” public relations situation.
#1 – Focus on the positives
It will do you little good to argue the negatives with those who are against whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. In every crowd there will be hardliners you will never convince, as well as those the hardliners will influence no matter what you do or say. However, just as there are those who may be unreachable, there are many others – the majority in most cases – who just want to know more. Public relations is the perfect avenue to answer those concerns. Particularly, they want to know “what’s in it for me?” Ronn Torossian and 5WPR are experts at shifting the focus to the positives. By doing so, it allows you to answer those questions without pandering or being condescending.
#2 – Don’t ignore the complaints
That’s not to say you should tell the detractors to take a flying leap (no matter how tempting that may be). Whenever possible, you should address specific concerns and definite issues. You can’t possibly address every single possible scenario, but addressing plausible concerns not only shows you have thought about these things too, it shows that you care enough to consider all sides. Your PR campaigns may not convert the opposition, but those who are serious about it will appreciate that you are taking them seriously ... even if they don’t like to admit it.
#3 – Be clear
Do not hide behind political speak or wishy-washy non-answers. As an experienced crisis PR firm, Ronn Torossian and 5WPR knows the criticality of being clear, concise and honest. What you have to say may not be what your opponents want to hear, but it may be exactly what those on the fence were looking for. Plus, issues are easier to defend than wishes. They are concrete and, thus, have concrete advantages.
#4 – Be efficient
Do your best not to draw out the process. Sometimes, when dealing with a difficult or contentious situation, the best way is to handle things as quickly as possible. It’s the Band-Aid principle. It’s going to hurt, but it hurts less if handled quickly. Then everyone can move on, responding to the new dynamic. In some cases, not much will have changed, but someone will always be affected.
For more tips on how to handle negative responses to bad situations contact Ronn Torossian and the NYC Public Relations firm 5W Public relations here.