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June 8, 2011
Perils of Do-It-Yourself Crisis PR
Back-pedalling and belated remorse seem to feature Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D-NY) handling of his self-created Internet communication crisis. Exactly the wrong way to proceed if you find yourself in such an unfortunate situation (though one shouldn't) in the first place. Gene Grabowski on the BulletproofBlog on crisis PR critiques Congressman Weiner's catch-up performance.

"As a former journalist myself," Grabowski writes, "I too thought Weiner was showing all the signs of a do-it-yourself crisis manager. He made the mistake of underestimating the media and overestimating the instincts that made him a rising political star. But like a star player who doesn’t believe he needs a coach, Weiner boldly took on the news media with classic defensiveness and poor messages."

Nobody wants to be in a PR crisis. Yet they occur, and when they do, denial needs to be recognized and somehow put aside. It's best to rely on a professional counsellor at a time like that. Yet the first realization needs to be that, if a personal PR crisis occurs, none of us are innately bulletproof, and we'd likely need help in facing, and handling, reality well. Do-it-yourself PR has emotional and experiental limitations. By now, Congressman Weiner likely knows that.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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