Protecting Your Good Name When the News Is Bad

  1. Be prepared to tell your side of the storyTake the time to develop your key messages on one page or less.
  2. First things firstBefore you talk, your first responsibility is to get the situation under control and gather the facts.
  3. Speak with one voiceAs much as possible all information should flow through one spokesperson.
  4. Talk to the mediaIf you don’t talk to the media don’t blame them if they treat you like you’ve got something to hide.
  5. Insist on balanceGood journalists are obligated to report both sides of the story and you shouldn’t settle for less.
  6. Respond to all negativesAs in any political campaign, each and every attack on your credibility must be responded to in some way.
  7. Be quick on your feetIn this digital era of instant access to breaking news, you must be prepared to mount a rapid response.
  8. Demonstrate responsibilityA too-legalistic approach to addressing the results of an accident can send a message to your neighbors that you don’t care.
  9. It ain’t over ‘til it’s overContinually monitor the media and reevaluate your communication strategy.
  10. Learn from your mistakesDon’t expect to do everything right but plan on doing it better the next time.

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