Can omitting key information cause a crisis?

We advise our clients to check and double-check all information that is to be released to the media – particularly if it has the potential to create controversy.   It’s among the advantages of having outside PR counsel to serve as another check and balance.
When is omitting – or forgetting — critical information in a PR crisis okay?  Never.
And worse, it can actually cause the crisis.
Yet we see it from time-to-time.  Recently in California, a man was taking his pregnant wife to the hospital for a scheduled cesarean section when he was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
ICE’s initial statement simply stated that that the man arrested was a citizen of Mexico who was in the United States illegally.
That prompted an outcry from some that ICE did not have a heart.  How could it do such a thing?
Later – after the uproar simmered down a bit, the agency released a second statement saying the man was wanted for homicide in his home country.
Woops.  Having that information would have certainly changed the discussion from the get-go, keeping a routine enforcement procedure from becoming a PR crisis.

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at Aug 31, 2018

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