A Google News search serves more than 4,000 articles. A blog search returns 675,000 posts. A Web search fetches more than 50,000,000 results. There’s no doubt about it: NPR has a national public relations crisis.
“…victims of a sophisticated public relations campaign ginned…”
“…the guy has played the public relations game magnificently…”
In other words, PR is a game played by sophisticated spin doctors, usually at the behest of big corporations, preferably oil companies, that gin up strategies to muzzle scientific research and inhibit the journalistic quest for the truth.
USA Today: NPR’s disaster: The firing of Juan Williams
Washington Post: Amid anger, regret over Williams’s firing, NPR staffers fear financial backlash
Orlando Sentinel: NPR blew it by firing Juan Williams
Huffington Post: NPR Blames Us for its Problems: Insane
If PR professionals can take a lesson from the last week, then so too can NPR. Digging out of this mess won’t come on the ink of a carefully worded press release; rather it will be earned through organizational self-reflection, honest dialogue and transparent decision making. In many ways, these are the tenants of crisis communications…there’s still ample opportunity to relate to the public.
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