No grounds for judgment

I silently applauded Jenny Dervin's rant against the opportunists who flew in like vultures to offer their PR services to JetBlue, as though they had any idea beyond what they read from news coverage what actually was transpiring within the company ("JetBlue flies solo as it combats fallout from grounding debacle," PRWeek, February 26).

I silently applauded Jenny Dervin's rant against the opportunists who flew in like vultures to offer their PR services to JetBlue, as though they had any idea beyond what they read from news coverage what actually was transpiring within the company ("JetBlue flies solo as it combats fallout from grounding debacle," PRWeek, February 26).

We had a similar onslaught after a couple of our "events," and to this day, I do a slow burn about how certain practitioners and affiliated agencies thought they knew best what to do. What gall.

I have 20 years of practice in this profession, but I would never presume to understand the multiple and unique business challenges that need to be addressed and managed when it comes to someone else's issue or crisis.

Sure, any of us can trot out the standard crisis communications playbook, but the particulars of the event, constituents, and business realities are beyond the ken of anybody outside the walls. I especially reserve contempt for the practitioners who take advantage of these moments to offer their uniformed insights to the media in an effort to build their personal brand equity - one of the things I well note when reading PRWeek.

The expression, "A battle plan dissolves after the first bullet is fired," fits perfectly here. Unless these experts are in the foxhole with us, they don't have enough of the facts to render judgment about the battle.

I won't go so far as saying we have all the expertise in-house. Weber Shandwick, as always, conducted itself with great professionalism during our events and was instrumental in helping us successfully manage and overcome our crises. Yes, Weber Shandwick was in the foxhole with us.

I look forward to seeing Dervin's list; I bet I'll recognize a few names.

Paul Dickard
Corporate comms director
Ingersoll-Rand
Montvale, NJ

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