Monday, February 18, 2013

Is it ever a good PR strategy to do nothing during certain crises?

I have read a few remarks of renowned communications experts to the effect that sometimes in PR, the best strategy is to do absolutely nothing.
They point out though that the key is to know which kind of situations warrant such a strategy, and which require rapid and immediate action.  
In my experience, some, perhaps most, crises fester by every passing minute and can get out of hand if actions are delayed. But again, it is not every time your clients or bosses are behaving like the ceiling is going to cave in that it is, in fact, going to cave in. In such situations, the professional thing to do is to stand your ground and counsel them to relax and fight off the impulse to ‘do something’.
It is not one of the easiest things in the world to do, and nomatter your explanation, you are bound to have a few execs or clients barking at you “we can’t just sit and do nothing!” But, if you are convinced doing nothing will save a potentially bad situation from getting worse, stand your ground.
Given some passage of time, people always come round to seeing things in better perspectives, and will thank you for your counsel. It has happened to me on a few occasions.
Have you ever had to counsel your client or management to adopt the strategy of ‘keep mute and do nothing’? How did it play out?

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