For the media, having a good rep is paramount. No one wants to deal with a liar or someone who will bend the truth just for a story. The absolute best reporters are those who develop a mutual and professional respect and trust with the people who provide them with the information they need. Most reporters follow a standard of ethics and values. Some, sadly, do not.
If Sheriff DeWitt had been my client, “Simply put,” I would have told him, “Your days of effectively leading law enforcement in this county are over – whether you choose to admit it or not. The only thing up for debate now is your legacy. Are you going to be remembered as a stand-up guy? Or an out-of-touch, power-hungry relic from the Boss Hogg days?”
The Sony data breaches and recent pseudo-blackmailing of the company have highlighted cybersecurity and redefined corporate stupidity. Amidst the still-clearing smoke, we wanted to offer businesses some PR recommendations moving forward: Privacy – Expect none. Ever. Years ago one of my Pentagon bosses advised us to never put anything in an email we wouldn’t want showing up on the front page of the New York Times – or in a divorce courtroom.
For regular readers of our blog this is a recurring theme: Young practitioners in PR and marketing have great imagination, enthusiasm and energy – and our profession needs it. But there is simply no replacement for experienced, mature, adult leadership and supervision. If management ignores that voice of reason shame on them.
I am going to cut right to the chase. As someone who has seen and dealt with some horrific stuff I will simply say if you don’t think it can happen to you, it can and will. For the cities and municipalities who have been living on borrowed time with no real executable plan, or the ones who put one together without due diligence – you might want to give this starter checklist some thought.