Following a period of “intense crisis work,” Inkhouse founder and CEO Beth Monaghan shares some of the secrets of effective crisis communications with Doug Simon in the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview.
Though she calls it “the work that I hate the most,” Monaghan says that a key to successfully handling a crisis lies in the client’s attitude. “We only take crisis work from companies and people who have good intentions, who are actually trying to solve the problem and not trying to cover it up.”
She brings up the controversy Burger King landed in over its “A woman’s place is in the kitchen” tweet as a situation in which a company’s good intentions managed to defuse a crisis. “They apologized, they redirected to what they were actually trying to do, and that's an easy crisis to solve, and it's also going to go away after the news cycle is over,” Monaghan tells Simon.
Today’s “heightened sensitivity to issues of equality in all areas” creates many openings in which a crisis can occur, she says. And while many organizations “get scared off then they hear those scary questions,” Monaghan says that honesty is the best way to navigate the situation.
At a time when many big tech companies have stopped doing outbound PR, Monaghan says that startups in the sector can still benefit from a PR approach that employs earned and owned media. “We'll see startups needing to do both of those things; to build up an audience for their content that's on their social platforms and through newsletters, through owned content, but also needing to get the word out there.”
Her advice for women trying to make their way in the industry also centers on honesty. “How are we ever going to succeed if we can't do it as who we are?,” she says. “My advice for women today is to come as you are, to embrace your skills and your personality as assets rather than things that might hold you back in the workplace.”
She says that “our workplaces will benefit” from such an approach, “and we will be more whole human beings and be more fulfilled in life and in work.”
Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org