Brian Williams’ “apology” interview with Matt Lauer has been panned by most reviewers. If Williams’ goal was to prove that he is ready to be reinstated as the anchor on NBC Nightly News—now or in the future—he didn’t accomplish it.
It’s an occupational hazard for many companies: If the legal squad and the communications crew are unable to find a way to be responsive during a crisis, you’ll be left at the starting line while negative messaging runs free, the opportunity to protect your reputation gets lost, and your inability to respond weakens.
For most PR pros preventing leaks is just part of managing an M&A process. Communicators also are responsible for convincing stakeholders that the merger will bring added value to the company and, if the deal is rejected (read: Comcast-Time Warner Cable), where the companies goes from there.
Communicating crucial details with the public is a primary concern when a tragedy strikes. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has proven a largely effective crisis communicator.