The following post was written by Jeff Chatterton, who is a Risk Communications expert. I think the timing of this post is perfect in light to the public relations situation happening today with the Toronto Blue Jays losing the Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year, Alex Anthopoulos.
Checkmate Public Affairs ran an informal survey on LinkedIn recently, asking 1,000 tourism officials to identify their biggest concern. It’s heavy stuff… the ‘biggest concern’ question is interesting to ask but scary to answer, and we received a range of scary answers back. We had answers citing everything from disgruntled employees, currency devaluations, terrorism concerns to TripAdvisor ratings. But the most common issue cited, regardless of nationality or business size, was ‘negative headlines.’
‘Negative headlines’ are scary for a bunch of reasons. No one likes to see their name in the news for the wrong reasons. Bad stories hurt revenue, bookings and sponsorship. They negatively impact employee morale and goodwill.
Scary headlines are pervasive. Obviously, we’ve all seen them. Any business leader has a collection of stories starring crazy customers or crazy circumstances. But no matter how whacky the circumstances, every damaging story out there has something in common – how to finish it. As wide-ranging as ‘negative headlines’ may be, there are still two ways – and only two ways – to kill a damaging story.