In case you missed last night’s episode of The Office on NBC, Dunder Mifflin office supply company was in crisis mode. A disgruntled paper mill employee inserted an obscene watermark into over 500 reams of paper delivered to customers. Responding to the controversy, Michael the manager decided to take charge of the situation by calling his own press conference…
The episode quickly becomes a case study into what not to do in a public relations crisis. This led me to recall Karl’s post from last week. Turns out there is such a thing as bad publicity in Hollywood—at least as far as fictional characters created there are concerned.
At a fictional company and in the real business world as well, anytime an unforeseen publicity problem pops up, there’s an urge to respond swiftly that can lead to further gaffes. It’s certainly a good idea to get right out there and control the message, contact important customers and share reliable information. But in the rush to respond, your organization’s overarching goals and strategies can be obscured.
Rather than trying to handle the pressure and confusion all on your own, it’ll always pay off to contact a professional who can provide expert, objective advice on how to proceed.