We all communicate on a daily basis, because human beings are social animals. But how many people really speak or write well? And if you don’t write daily, it is often difficult to craft a clear and succinct message, especially in times of crisis and extreme stress. It is often better to be an expert in a small niche than to be a generalist; it’s the old saying “Jack of All Trades, Master of None”. So you may be the best business owner, manager etc. in your field, but does that qualify you to be your own publicist?
It is important to plan for a crisis in advance and to think about the 2-3 key points that you want to convey in your communications, then STICK TO YOUR PLAN! People get into trouble when they start making up answers on the fly. We have all seen people “wing it” while on camera (remember seeing Tony Haward of BP early in the oil spill crisis), with disastrous results. There is a reason that political figures have campaign managers and professional speechwriters!
Whether or not you should handle your own public relations and marketing depends on your skills in writing and speaking. I am a believer in do-it-yourself, if you truly know how to do it yourself. The internet has a long memory and things that you say (recorded on video) and write can come back to haunt you years from now!
To help you with DIY PR, we have created the St. Louis Public Relations for Small & Mid-Sized Businesses group on LinkedIn.
We invite you to join here: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=3141142&trk=hb_side_g
This group is an area where anyone can start a discussion or pose a question, and we can use “crowdsourcing” to tap into the collected knowledge of our network!