An experienced outside perspective to assess active reputational threats and ensure you avoid the most common crisis mistakes: under-responding and losing control, or over-responding and making the situation worse.
If the first time audiences hear from you is during a crisis, you will be fighting an uphill battle. Establishing an identity and positive brand awareness before crises hit gives you a reputation to fall back on during hard times.
Pinkston managed the communications campaign for the high-profile launch of an identity-monitoring and theft-recovery program in response to one of the largest data breaches in U.S. history. Program included comprehensive crisis-response planning, coverage monitoring and analysis, and media outreach and management.
Accusation / Investigation of Misconduct
In a case involving accusations of bullying against a top leader, Pinkston came alongside the organization’s external legal counsel to provide communications support around its third-party investigation. We helped the organization communicate with staff and media audiences to highlight the steps the board was taking to thoroughly investigate the accusation, explain the scope, and communicate about its findings and the resulting actions the board took to improve workplace culture.
A crisis involving litigation creates unique communications challenges. In one recent case, Pinkston came alongside a university and its legal counsel as they anticipated a wrongful termination lawsuit by a former faculty member. Engaging early and coordinating closely with the legal team allowed us to prepare messaging and a strategy ahead of time. When the lawsuit was finally filed the university was able to communicate clearly and effectively with faculty, staff and other stakeholders without creating new legal risks.
The board of a major nonprofit enlisted Pinkston to provide communications during a turbulent leadership transition that saw multiple interim CEOs over a short time frame. Pinkston developed messaging and an internal communications plan that restored trust in the board and helped reassure staff while the board conducted its search for a permanent CEO. In spite of significant changes at the top of the organization, there was minimal turnover at the staff level and no negative media coverage.