“Companies are under greater scrutiny than ever before,” said Howard Bragman, founder of La Brea Media in Beverly Hills, Calif. and our featured #FridayForum speaker. While a PR professional might see a crisis as an opportunity to get a quote or an opinion covered by the media, Bragman cautioned against trying to benefit when bad things happen.
Bragman, whose firm serves celebrities, doctors, CEOs, elected officials and others, notes that an image crisis used to involve “sex, drugs and rock and roll.” Today, a crisis can just as easily be about political correctness. In fact, considering how fast news travels on social media, salacious stories are becoming more common in the political ecosystem.
PR now stands for Perception and Reality
“PR now stands for ‘Perception and Reality.’ As PR practitioners, we’re charged with finding the balance between the two,” Bragman said. He discussed how some tech industry leaders like Elon Musk like to hang around celebrities (Musk is married to Canadian musician/singer Grimes) and live larger than life.
Hollywood celebrities are also becoming more involved in tech. For example, Ashton Kutcher is an actor, entrepreneur and one of Hollywood’s most active Silicon Valley investors. Bragman said no matter whether he’s advising celebrities or tech leaders, it’s important to know the laws that affect a situation. He advised, “Be sensitive when discussing solutions and bring in an attorney when needed.”
To see Bragman’s top 10 reasons why everything is a crisis today and learn more about what it takes to be a crisis manager, replay the April 2 #FridayForum on our PRSA Silicon Valley Facebook page. His book “Where’s My Fifteen Minutes” is available on Amazon.