Presentation on counseling the CEO in a Crisis

Posted by Dan Keeney

I had the pleasure of presenting at the PRSA Southwest District Conference today (which is being combined with the Texas Public Relations Association Annual Conference) on the subject of providing crisis PR counsel to the CEO. It is an interesting topic that I way over-prepared for. I ended up with about 90 minutes of content for the 45 minute presentation and, as a result, had to race through the last third of the presentation.

Please take a few moments to click through the slides. I found the latest data on CEO attitudes, which is culled from the PriceWaterhouseCoopers 12th Annual Global CEO Survey and the IBM Global CEO Survey) to be particularly useful. The idea is that you need to understand what the CEO thinks is important before you can speak to him or her as an equal. That means spending your time learning some of the fundamentals of business finance, as well.

I also am applying some of the writings of Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers to the practice of PR counseling. Gladwell describes how destructive mitigated speech that sugarcoats the facts can be in the midst of a crisis. It is something that the public relations community needs to be mindful of because we tend to think the CEO has everything under control. As soon as you begin to realize that the CEO is depending on the team of leaders for advice and counsel, you can begin to understand that you have a responsibility to step up and forcefully tell it like you see it.

Thanks to the schedulers for inviting me to speak.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: ,

This entry was posted on Friday, February 27th, 2009 at 10:27 pm and is filed under Crisis Planning. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Comment