In the court of public opinion: winning your case with public relations

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The Age of Obama & The Court of Public Opinion | Crisis Management | Crisis Public Relations

But all good journalists seek balance in their stories as far as possible, and in particular like to get the view of the other side of a case, as well as encouraging rebuttal comments from those who will be criticised, so you will get an early warning of the impending attack when you or your client are asked to comment. Then you can deploy the full force of your carefully prepared reactive PR strategy, preemptively turning the fire of the attack back on your opponent, either killing their article or shaping it to your own messaging. Sometimes no comment at all really is the best comment, but usually only when you are either losing hard or winning big.

But these can also be the best times to get on the front foot, by getting to the real or metaphorical microphone first and shaping the news agenda to fit your narrative. Contrary to popular belief, there is wide latitude to comment on active public court cases. A pithy comment on a judgment will often go far and wide if it is given within minutes of the judgment being handed down. Get out ahead and stay ahead in the mainstream media, and monitor it and social media closely, correcting misinformation where the readership and influence of any publication requires it.

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The essential ability to act quickly requires briefing your litigation PR agency on the details of the litigation well in advance of the hearing, and having them brief the press as far as possible in advance. Briefing packs setting out the history and background to the case can be created and distributed, provided that these stick to publicly available information, such as background information about the parties and a summary of judgments from analogous cases or previous litigation between the parties.

It is also useful to agree key messages and prepare on the record comments in advance for win, lose and draw outcomes. Your PR should also invite key journalists to the hearing and sit discreetly in the back row of the courtroom with journalists, ready to brief them further on background, as well as on the key points which reinforce your messages from their own contemporaneous notes of what was said in the proceedings. You should also ensure that transcriptions of the hearing are provided to your key journalists as soon as possible on the day of the hearing, together with the key highlights and quotes for your case.

To have the best possible control over this situation, your PR strategy can and often should inform the tone and order of your pleadings, and even your choice of advocate. Beyond this, PR can also assist with witness selection and preparation, as well as the strategic development of private investigations and thought-leadership campaigns, which can be deployed and promoted to shape public opinion.

So, tell the truth and weave it into a good narrative. As well as being accurate and informative, the media also needs to entertain. Even the most complex international commercial disputes need to be simplified to the extreme in order for a clear message to be produced to achieve cut-through. In the event that a hearing goes badly, litigation PR can strategically shift the focus away from what went wrong on the day, towards the positives and the prospect of an appeal. Even if the appeal never materialises, its prospect on the day creates a positive focus for your client.

You should be brief and to the point, use word pictures where possible, be statesmanlike, consider alliteration or the use of aphorisms, be interesting, and say something different.

Multiple sources will help to validate your messages. Also create broad appeal by talking about principles of law as far as possible, rather than the minutiae of the particulars of your case. In considering what you say, consider the legacy digital footprint you will be leaving on search engines. Sometimes you will need to get inaccurate articles or broadcast items amended or removed. These factors have given rise to a new communication practice, a fresh niche in the public relations horizon. What is LPR? James F. It involves managing the cycle of crisis, which, if left unabated, can escalate and wreck an image or stature.

It is also all about getting the other side to realize that the damage to their reputation will be great, and thus, settlement ought to be top-of-mind. It can also mean tailoring a settlement in ways that limit the PR or public opinion damage if not outright victory in the courthouse.

Haggerty who is both a lawyer and PR communicator believes that public relations can be instrumental in bringing about the resolutions described above. In fact, on many occasions, he stresses, "Effective communications can be the deciding factor. In LPR the protection of reputation is just as important as a successful day in court. Litigation must not let a brand suffer much to affect long-term customer loyalty and market share.


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  3. Anticipate before you litigate in the court of public opinion.

Remember, a competitor acting as predator lurks around when a brand or company is under assault. Applied in LPR, it can in fact do more harm than good if we send the wrong message to the wrong audience at the wrong time. They fail primarily because they reinforce the idea that PR is mindless work, and that it is just about connections. Anyone can do the job of getting information out there with the proper writing skills, the right list of media, and an operable fax machine or e-mail system.

This can be a particular mindset of lawyers who seem at times to believe they could do all this by themselves, if only they had the time. The PR-legal courtship has been a rocky one. As Karen Doyne of Burson-Masteller writes, "For a time, joint efforts were more competitive than cooperative. Lawyers typically considered PR to be somewhat distasteful and probably dangerous to their interests. Relatively few understood the basics of the legal system or the dynamics of communications during litigation. Not Just Crisis Communications When we think of crisis, we remember the Coca Cola recall in Europe, the syringe-in-the-Pepsi-can incident, the classic cyanide lacing of Tylenol, and locally the Cebu Pacific plane crash.

Crisis communications is a high pressure, high-stakes specialty that many individuals or firms excel at. But it is often confused with communication during litigation, and that confusion can cause unintended, even disastrous consequences. LPR, on the other hand, unfolds over weeks and months and sometimes years , not just days. Wise lawyers, clients, and communications consultants need to know when and how to apply the pressure, and how to cut through any interference to focus on activity that will help the client prevail in the long run.

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LPR is less event-drive than traditional crisis response implementations. A high profile event can fall flat on its face with the media, who may see it as a less-than-subtle attempt to influence the outcome of litigation, where the issues are considerably more complex, and which at some point can stupefy even the best media reporter.

It can be inappropriate and even damaging.

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These are, after all, legal issues we are dealing with. The press and the public want to hear from the experts. It makes us understand why PR people must work with lawyers if they are working on legal issues that have strong potentials on negatively affecting company or brand image. PR people must have influence over communications strategy, as much as lawyers get more actively involved in the communications process, managing the case outside the courtroom.

old.videovolunteers.org/123.php LPR, as Doyne elaborates, "provides PR people an opportunity to secure a seat at the table where strategic business and legal decisions are made. LPR is here to stay. Civil and criminal cases clog our courts. Paano patubuin ang iyong savings? After sales package for previous gen Vios only at P until September Experience the outdoors in style and comfort with glamping at Zoobic Safari.