Some questions to ponder…
You see a media release posted by someone you know casually. In the release is a piece of information that you believe is dead wrong. What do you do?
- Call the person and tell them you think there may be some incorrect info in the release.
- Call the client and tell them you can do a better job.
Your client has a news item to share with local media. You know that one prominent columnist will give the item good placement—but only if she has the exclusive. What do you do?
- Feed the item to the columnist because you know her column is the most important for your client. (Share it with other media later.)
- Send the item to all outlets simultaneously in an effort to maintain fairness.
- Send it to TV news departments first. Because if airs on TV, other media will want to pick it up.
You take a media person to lunch where she shares the secret tidbit that your client’s main competitor is about to launch a new service that may give him a huge edge. What do you do?
- Keep it under your hat because it was shared in confidence.
- Immediately call your client and pass along the rumor (which he may or may not be concerned about).
- Post vague details of the rumor on Facebook in an effort to compromise the tidbit’s news value.
A local restaurant sends you a marketing email with a link to click for its new menu. You click and discover the link does not work. What do you do?
- Call the restaurant and let them know the link does not work.
- Trash them on Twitter for their stupid error.
Your client is involved in an auto accident. He is arrested for drunk driving and his passenger, a young woman who is not his wife, is injured. What do you do?
- Resign the account immediately because you don’t work with sleazeballs.
- Refuse to answer reporters’ calls because anything you say will just make it worse.
- Learn what you can about the situation and share basic facts with media. Express concern for the passenger and her family, the client’s family, the client’s employees. Indicate that operations will continue (or be temporarily suspended).
Your client has valuable editorial content to share with a print publication, but can only share it with one of two fierce competitors. What do you do?
- Advise him to share it with the magazine with higher circulation.
- Advise him to share it with the magazine that will present the material better.
- Advise him to just post it all on his website to avoid any hurt feelings.
A small client signs on with your firm based on results you’ve generated for big clients. Because your work for the small client generates much less revenue, a great portion of the work ends up being done by staffers who have no experience with your big client success and little experience at all. What do you do?
- Rationalize that what they lack in experience will be more than made up by their creativity and willingness to work long hours.
- Presume that if they have degrees and got hired, they have enough on the ball to take on anything.
- Tell the small client upfront that, while senior staff will oversee the work, much of the work will be done by junior staff.
Your client is hacked. Data is compromised, including many names and credit card numbers. What do you do?
- Suggest your client say nothing to anyone, other than to government agencies that must be notified.
- Share the news of the breach to media, along with assurances that your IT crew and outside consultants have stopped the leak and are evaluating the extent of the problem.
- Advise the client to contact customers via private channels, such as email and direct mail.
Would you do the right thing? Right for you? Right for your client? Right for ethical PR standards?