From The Rock

What a PR professional’s nightmares are made of

By | October 30, 2019

As the weather cools and darkness falls, Boogiemen and monsters in the closet fill the minds of young children struggling to fall asleep. The noise you swore was a zombie? It was just a falling tree branch outside your window. Your childhood nightmares were just a figment of your overactive imagination.

As an adult, my sleep is no longer hindered by creaks in the night or a fear of creatures under the bed. As my head hits the pillow, my mind races with more sinister plots, like my client taking a call and answering, “no comment.” What’s even scarier – I could wake up to find my nightmare is a reality when I check my inbox come morning! *SCREAMS*

There are certain situations that strike fear into the hearts of public relations practitioners. While we work to avoid them at all costs, we’re sometimes frightened when they unexpectedly appear like a ghost in the night. Fair warning, these situations may bring back haunting memories!

Your Dr. Jekyll client turns out to be a Mr. Hyde

There is nothing more frightening than uncovering the skeletons in a client’s closet. Hopefully, your client has left their evil schemes in the past. But a more frightening reality is never knowing which side of the client you, or the media, is going to get.

Social media turns dark

Your blood runs cold when the content you scheduled hasn’t posted in days or a cranky customer poisons your review section. Social presence is important, and it’s horrifying when you try to scream, but your voice evaporates into thin air.

Your guilty client escapes custody

Sometimes we have to put our clients on media-relations lockdown to prevent them from claiming any more victims. If we’re not especially mindful, a tempting reporter can break your client loose, enticing them to commit crimes against reputation.

The apocalypse hits, and you’re not ready

You see the zombies approaching your business, and you have no plan of attack. Maybe your client is new or maybe they didn’t want a crisis plan. Either way, you’re left scrambling and shaking in your boots.

Mourning a missed opportunity

Remember that time your client emailed you nothing but a link to a story spotlighting their competitor? Grab a tissue and prepare to grieve the lost opportunity.

Your client is the victim of a witch hunt

The court of public opinion is a grueling place to be found, and your client may be found guilty before you have a chance to disseminate the truth. Hopefully, you have time to cry “mercy” before they’re sent to the stake.

An unsightly spirit attends your séance

Be it a private event or a press conference, it just takes one spoiled apple to poison a party. Thankfully, I’ve heard that diligent preparation and a tight security team work as well as sage to cleanse a space and prevent unwelcome visitors.