After the Exxon Valdez spilled almost 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound in 1989, Alan Hilburg, who was then running his own reputation management firm, got a call from an Exxon communications exec asking for his services. Hilburg, now president-CEO of Porter Novelli Consulting, recalls telling the executive that he would agree only if he could meet with Exxon's CEO. No way, said the contact. Then forget it, replied Hilburg, who has spent the last 25 years dealing with CEOs on crisis management and crisis litigation. A few weeks later, however, Hilburg got a call back from Exxon saying he could in fact meet with Exxon's CEO (as well as the CEOs from the other major oil firms since the Valdez incident had quickly grown into an industry-wide crisis).
CEOs Still Need Convincing that PR is Valuable
You might also be interested in:
- 6 Steps to Help Coordinate a Crisis Response in a Large Corporation
- The Week in PR
- How to Use Social and Traditional Media to Promote Your White Paper
- A Job for Communicators: Just 47% of Workers Receive Diversity Training
- Tips and Tricks to Use Facebook's New Live Video Feature to Boost Brand Engagement