This is a presentation I delivered to the annual Commercial Law Network conference in October 2019.
It looks at the role of public relations in risk and reputation and talks about organisational challenges and how to overcome them. It also cites a huge opportunity for lawyers and PR professionals to work more closely on risk and reputation management, with clearly defined roles.
If you want to check out my business and experience head to www.aura-pr.com and please do get in touch if you'd like to chat about I can help you come up with a risk and reputation strategy, covering internal and external factors.
The role of Public Relations in Risk and Reputation
About Laura and Aura
Public Relations and Brand
Edelman Trust Barometer
Turning challenges into opportunities
Established Aura in 2008
PRCA Dare Awards winner 2018 & 2019
Sir Stephen Tallents Medal 2019
Industry awards judge
Former CIPR Board Director and Council member
Chair of CIPR Fellows' Forum
Recognised PR blogger
Public Relations is about reputation - the result
of what you do, what you say and what others
say about you.
Public Relations is the discipline which looks
after reputation, with the aim of earning
understanding (and trust) and support and
influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the
planned and sustained effort to establish and
maintain goodwill and mutual understanding
between an organisation and its publics.
Modern public relations - integration
Society, your stakeholders, anyone who comes
into contact with the brand.
A strong, positive reputation translates into
long-term value in an organisation represented
by confidence in brand equity, intellectual
capital, sustained earnings and future growth.
Reputation is likely an organisation’s most
how do you
? a. Risk and Value
d. Public Relations – relationships,
influence and trust
AI and Data
Cyber security and attacks
THINK OF NEW TECH
SUCH AS VOICE
Risk department, PR (as often used solely
as press office rather than public
relations), Communication often sits under
marketing in more traditional
organisations, so there is a disconnect
between all essential functions.
MAKE AND BREAK
WITHIN A MATTER
W H A T ' S T H E C H A L L E N G E ?
THREE THINGS TO CONSIDER
EVERY NANO SECOND
IMAGES AND VIDEOS
*THEY* SEE AND
THEY HAVE THEIR
OWN VERSION OF
EVENTS, BUT IT'S STILL
THEY ONLY SEE WHAT
What's the social impact?
Society is watching...
No consistency between disciplines
POOR UNDERSTANDING OF
SOURCE OF REPUTATIONAL
RISK AND HOW TO MANAGE
Not skilled or experienced in this area
and don't bring in skilled resource to
advise e.g. PR consultant
LOW AWARENESS OF COST
o Market value
o Loss of customers
o Lack of trust
o Loss of supply chain
o Business growth set backs
o Internal culture change
o Staff loss
find it difficult
WHO ARE YOUR
what potential risk do they a) carry and
b) how would a crisis impact them?
Cause and effect...
LEAVE NO STONE
Do the same wiht the services you
provide, the health and safety risk
assessments, the staff you employ...
It works both ways
Aura PR (Scotland) Ltd
Before a crisis hits
WHAT OR WHO IS IT
CONTAIN IT BY
ADDRESSING AS AN
TURN THE SITUATION
AROUND BEFORE IT
TURNS INTO A CRISIS
When a crisis hits, do you have
a crisis plan in place?
This is developed by the
leadership and risk and public
Right people are involved at the
right time, with the right amount
of information and the right
checks and balances carried
out, with the right
communication at the right
time, on the right channel, to all
Assess likelihood and impact
High Risk – if a high-risk
situation arises, then it’s a crisis
situation and you need to get
the crisis plan in motion
Moderate Risk – if it’s
moderate, it has the potential
to reach high risk very quickly
Low Risk – label as an issue
How public relations professionals
manage the communication
MESSAGE AND LANGUAGE
Tone, sensitivity to audiences, in-line
with business comms strategy
PR pros know channels and how they
work and how best to leverage them
Media relations is bread and butter
for PR pros
Knowing when to communicate is
PR pros exist to ensure the
organisation represents the interests
of it's publics
If you got it wrong, you need to admit
to that and apologise
PR pros have tools to monitor
channels and brand sentiment
It doesn't have
to be a terrorist
attack to be a
PREPARE COMMS FOR
Different messages and tones for
PREPARE CEO FOR
Own the story. PR pros will advise on
the best approach, what to look out
for in interview techniques with the
media and how to move the interview
WHAT ABOUT OTHER
It's not just people directly involved
who are affected... showing a human
side and empathy is everything to
those affected in some way.
Go back to your
RISK ASSESS CRISIS PLAN
Globally, 75 percent of people trust
“My Employer” to do what is right,
this is significantly more than NGOs
(57 percent), business (56 percent)
and media (47 percent).
"Building resilient trust through meeting
Employees are potentially a brand's
highest risk during an issue or crisis, often
the cause of the crisis
INTERNAL COMMUNICATION IS
That doesn't just mean
It's part of stakeholder
engagement and the overall
Employees are the biggest
asset to the business and have
a huge potential to make or
Great communication requires PR
professionals to be inspiring, empowering
What happens if we don't communicate?
Incident / issue occurs
Plan kicks in and crisis team congregates. Time is of the essence to address or start
responding and communicate with stakeholders. PR and lawyers work together to
fact find and share findings. PR starts to draft statements, takes down social posts
scheduled, manages message on website etc.
Media, staff and/or citizen
journalists are on the case
Time is of the essence to update stakeholders. PR follows crisis PR plan and
coordinates communication with emergency services PR team and/or client CEO.
PR continues to draft communication messages as the situation unfolds.
If you don't have a PR strategy in place
for public relations, that means you won't
have one for issues or crisis...
That's when you start to understand the impact
of poor communication and lack of strategy on