Stay Ahead of Crisis

Recent events in the banking industry, among others, highlight the importance of effective crisis management and the need to stay a step ahead of complex and fast-breaking issues, particularly as it relates to reputation and legal considerations.

Members of our Crisis Communications and Issues Management practice recently co-authored a chapter on “Public Relations and Message Management” for the Fourth Edition of Cleary Gottlieb’s Global Crisis Management Handbook

The chapter discusses how to handle public relations aspects of crises, including how to weigh the practical benefits and legal risks of any public response and factors to consider when crafting and delivering your message.

Some key takeaways include:

  • In addition to reputation, you need to consider the legal—and practical—consequences of any public response.
  • The decision to proactively disclose an issue is critical—do you have a duty, and, if not, is it the right move strategically to frame the message and support the legal strategy?
  • In crafting a disclosure, close collaboration between PR and legal can help maximize its effectiveness while avoiding language that may generate future risk.
  • Most often, a crisis response won’t require just a one-time statement but rather a sustained communications strategy.
  • When working with outside counsel and public relations firms, take steps to maintain privilege, to the extent possible.