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The PR Crisis Bible: How to Take Charge of the Media When All Hell Breaks Loose Hardcover – November 11, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Managing potentially damaging business news has become trickier in today's fast-paced television and Internet news environment. Cohn, who runs her own public relations firm specializing in crisis management, offers solid advice on avoiding the PR sins that can sink a company. Among the most common mistakesAoften made by experienced executivesAare believing that disaster will never strike, shifting blame and responding "no comment" when confronted with a difficult question. Drawing on familiar news events to prove her points, Cohn shows how, for example, personal problems can become company problems. When chief executive Gary Wendt battled his wife in a bitter divorce, his employer, GE Capital, was scrutinized in the media. William Agee's career at Bendix was hurt when his affair with associate Mary Cunningham was made public. In another telling example, she recounts how a well-known business reporter once stopped an executive in the hall to ask for directions to an office and, when the man quickly hurried away muttering that he had no comment, was spurred to dig for a story. While Cohn presents some useful pointers on sidestepping the "seven deadly sins" of PR crisis management, her book would have been stronger if she had expanded and systematized her recommendations instead of offering only brief nuggets of advice. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

There is something about the media (and, perhaps, the public) that enjoys the sight of a company or leader in disgrace or in disfavor. Such are the events that well-trained, well-seasoned public-relations practitioners feed on, including one Robin Cohn. To her credit, she does address the critical importance of planning a well-thought-out strategy before addressing a crisis. Yet all of her stories, even chapter titles, are intended for quick sound bites; the Motorola cell phone's reputed link to cancer is one of dozens of anecdotes. A few helpful exercises here and there help readers focus on elements that can trigger or presage crises--corporate values, for one. Her advice, on the whole, is sound, but it's difficult to figure out Cohn's audience . . and her intentions. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Truman Talley Books; 1st edition (November 11, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312252307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312252304
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,355,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is the best book I have read on how to prepare for and handle public relations crises. It is incredibly up-to-date and timely, featuring material in its introduction about the public relations aspects of the currently occurring recall of Firestone tires being used on Ford Explorer vehicles.
Business has become one of the favorite whipping boys in the media to provide temporary diversion from the usual stream of personal scandals, talk show confessions, and entertainment releases. Do a good job, and you will seldom appear. Be remotely connected to something harmful, controversial, or threatening, and the world is at your door. Ms. Cohn does a very effective job of explaining why this is, and how you can influence it.
The book is organized around 7 deadly sins in a public relations crisis. These sins are really mindsets that are mistaken and will usually prove harmful:
It will never happen here (chances are it will)
I don't care how it looks (the more you ignore it, the worse you make things, up until the day that everyone involved is fired)
Let them eat cake (describing things inaccurately just draws more wrath and personal jeopardy)
It's not our fault (customers and the public aren't looking to find out who's at fault, they want to know who's going to take responsibility for solving the problem so they can feel confident again)
Just say "No comment!
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TJ Walker on November 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Cohn has been there and done that. She carefully dissects well-known crises in the news and lets you know how they could have been handled better, and more important, how you can survive and thrive if similar crises were to hit you and your company.
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By ginger pen on October 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is nothing of tangible use in this book for actual PR or communications professionals.

If I wanted a book of mostly corporate US anecdotes (that aren't that well told frankly, and demonstrates the very shallow bias of the author and their lack of understanding of the actual issues in each circumstance), I'd buy one of those bathroom readers and get as much insight.

60 pages in and realizing that this book is simply jumping around from example to example, I started skimming instead and I'm pretty sure I got the same out of it as someone that read it thoroughly.

The title of this book invokes a proper guide to the PROCESS and PLANNING (yes folks, they do exist and should be the road map for any crisis scenario) for good PR and comms work. Instead, the author just says 'be prepared, use common sense, be quick to react, be honest and be genuine".

Thanks Sherlock. Can I have my 16 bucks back?

Seriously. It's that bad. Judging from some of the other more, ahem, positive comments. I suspect a little stacking of the deck from other so-called PR gurus trying to sell their wares hoping for reciprocity on their review pages.

Nice PR guys. Real clever.
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