Public relations people constantly ask, “How do I get a seat at the table?” The short answer for now is to take advantage of the Ebola hysteria.
The seats are not handed out at the table. The seats are taken. During a time of crisis or potential crisis, leadership can be displayed by those who speak up about how to manage a crisis, how to make a crisis go away, and how to effectively do both through effective crisis communications.
We addressed this in the October 27, 2014 IABC webinar, “Is it too soon to talk about Ebola?” My advice is that each public relations professional needs to become a crisis communications expert. The Ebola crisis is a perfect time to gather executives and leaders together to discuss the many ways real or rumored Ebola contact could damage the reputation and revenue of the business that employees you.
Speaking to the IABC group, my advice was to focus on the negative ROI. In other words, focus on how much money could be lost, even if the public thinks Ebola has tainted your company. Often in crisis communications and crisis management, rumors and hysteria can do more damage than a real infection.
Additionally, my suggestion was that each organization should use this as a perfect time to update or write a crisis communications plan that can be used in the Ebola crisis, as well as any other crisis that might strike in the future. (contact me via my website to learn more)
If you are waiting for your invitation to take a seat at the table, it won’t come from your boss. However, there is a chance Gerard Braud (Jared Bro) just sent one to you via the web.