Where Legal meets PR
How these teams can work together for the best crisis management
Public relations professionals and attorneys. They often seem at odds in the media.
Because when a client is facing a crisis that could harm their reputation, we see lawyers aggressively pushing forward with a “no comment” comment while the PR reps are crafting a carefully worded and media-friendly response.
And while this routine might be familiar, it doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) the rule.
PR and legal teams that are able to work together and find a middle ground are the most effective at protecting and preserving their client’s reputations during a crisis. Both teams have important positions and priorities. The PR pros are experienced at offering smartly worded apologies, but the legal team has the heavy task of protecting the client from litigation.
Both teams are crucial. With the speed and prevalence of social media today, any crisis, big or small, has the potential to permanently damage a brand. But when legal and PR teams unite on a crisis management plan, you benefit from two highly qualified teams of experts working hard together to protect your business or personal brand.
NOT two individual teams who may have opposing strategies that end up making crisis management less effective.
Of course, it’s best if these two teams aren’t meeting for the first time as a scandal arises. In an ideal situation, the client’s PR and legal team have worked together on a proactive crisis management plan BEFORE disaster strikes. This plan would have strategies in place for various crisis scenarios, including at-the-ready holding statements that the experienced legal team has approved.