Although we never hope to implement it, crisis communications is one of the offerings here at HMA Public Relations. Over the years we have been called on to assist clients with labor issues, slip and falls, suicide and even homicide. You learn something from each situation and hope against hope that you never have to rely on those instincts again.
But it seems that “crisis communications” has taken on a whole new meaning in the aftermath of some extremely tragic incidents over the past several months.
This recent Washington Post article, “Massacre message management is new PR task” candidly discusses the role that public relations agencies are playing for the families and victims of these senseless acts. None of us can or should have to imagine what it is like for those impacted by these events. And it seems, right or wrong, the families of the alleged perpetrators of these crimes are also seeking expert communications advice.
Interestingly enough, it seems terrorist groups are also recognizing the importance of message management and are hiring firms to assist them in getting the word out. This op-ed posted a few months back on Israel National News website (and picked up in dozens of other publications) discusses just that.
My friends in the agency business…we all have our list of “wouldn’t it be great if we had” clients. It is likely that we even have the “not really our type of client, but….” list. But do we have the “wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot-pole” list? If so, does “massacre messaging” or “terrorist pr” appear on that list? Should it?