We get this question often: “Does my company need to hire a PR firm?”
This question never elicits a simple yes or no answer since there are so many unique and individual considerations for each company. We can definitely say that you never know when you will need an experienced PR firm.
Sometimes, forces beyond your immediate control trickle into your company, creating PR crises that require savvy PR professionals. Today, eyes (and cameras) are always watching, which create complex PR issues. Let’s take a look at two quick case studies to demonstrate this point.
1. Ray Rice/NFL
Plastered on every news outlet possible, you’ll find the unfortunate elevator videos of NFL star Ray Rice and his wife. When Ray Rice entered the elevator that evening, he likely thought that he was in a private space with his wife. The terrible events that then transpired were all caught on video surveillance, leaving a tarnished image, a lost career, and stumbling out of control PR crisis for the NFL surrounding how they handled the situation. Its PR crisis trickled down from one football player’s actions, and exposed the entire NFL to ridicule.
2. Centerplate CEO
Earlier this month, a national story broke that focused on yet another elevator camera capturing poor choices of behavior. Centerplate, a Connecticut-based, Aramark-like caterer for sports and entertainment venues, fell victim to a PR crisis after its CEO, Des Hague was caught on video surveillance abusing a dog in an elevator at a Vancouver apartment building. The footage shows the food executive kicking a friend’s puppy and yanking it up by its leash.
Within days, this video went viral, Hague was trending with #DesHague on Twitter, fans of Centerplate’s contracted arenas picketed outside of its vendors’ stadiums, Des Hague resigned, and Centerplate was faced with cleaning up its image. Could Centerplate ever have planed for a PR crisis that stemmed from its CEO watching his friend’s dog? Not likely.
So, why hire a PR firm? In our digital world, individuals caught doing things out of good character can quickly create PR crises for the companies, organizations, or institutions of which they represent. Companies must be prepared to face these events, which are often unpredictable. The PR of your brand extends outside of the company’s walls, where a camera or set of eyes is always ready to capture the next viral video and fuel a PR crisis that only top-level and experienced PR professionals are equipped to handle.
If you or someone in your company has been caught in the spotlight we are happy to help. Our PR experts are always available to answer questions and advise. Call us today (866) 252-1750.