Crisis PR veteran's new book of essentials

NEW YORK: Has PR just got religion? Robin Cohn, a veteran of crisis PR with a 22-year track record, would have you think so, having penned The PR Crisis Bible, a 324-page guide to the dos and don'ts of handling scandals.

NEW YORK: Has PR just got religion? Robin Cohn, a veteran of crisis PR with a 22-year track record, would have you think so, having penned The PR Crisis Bible, a 324-page guide to the dos and don'ts of handling scandals.

NEW YORK: Has PR just got religion? Robin Cohn, a veteran of crisis PR with a 22-year track record, would have you think so, having penned The PR Crisis Bible, a 324-page guide to the dos and don'ts of handling scandals.

Central to the book are what Cohn calls the 'seven deadly sins' of PR: believing it can never happen to you; feigning indifference; appearing too cavalier; pretending that it's not your fault; saying 'No comment'; not humanizing the problem and reacting first, thinking later.

Each of these 'sins' is illustrated with case studies, covering prominent blowups from the Exxon Valdez spill to the Microsoft antitrust trial.

Cohn warns that issuing a 'No comment' statement should be avoided in almost all circumstances. 'There's one certainty in this uncertain world: 'no comment' is the best way to compound a problem,' she said.

'I hope that people reading the book will be able to take this to heart and avoid their own crises.'

The Bible also offers tips on countering sneak attacks in cyberspace.

Cohn, who has headed Robin Cohn and Co. for the past decade, has also worked for Revlon Group and MacAndrews & Forbes Group. She handled the 1982 Air Florida flight 90 airplane crash, in which an airliner went down over Washington, DC in a heavy winter storm, crashing into the 14th Street bridge and landing in the Potomac. Of the 74 passengers on board, only 68 survived the initial crash.

'If you've been through a major crisis or tragedy like that, it gives you a level of understanding that's hard to get if you haven't,' said Cohn.

The book is laid out in easily digestible chunks and printed in large type. 'It's designed to be a fast read for top execs,' said Cohn, 'because that's where the buck stops. You can have the best middle management in the world, but their hands are tied.'

The book, which is being published by St. Martin's Press, hits shelves this week and will retail in hardcover at dollars 24.95.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.