Crisis Management: Client Name Withheld
Sometimes, what transpires behind the scenes can minimize the severity of a crisis or even snuff it out. A case in point was Dan Keeney's (fournder and president of DPK Public Relations) work on behalf of one company caught in the tidal wave of media attention during the weeks leading up to and immediately following the demise of Enron.
The company, a supplier to Enron, quickly reduced staff once it was clear that it would never recoup millions of dollars the energy giant owed. In the weeks and months that followed, dozens of angry former employees banded together in an aggressive effort to pressure the company into bowing to their monetary demands.
Journalists are naturally attracted to conflict and they love stories that pit the little guy against a big company. At the same time, the nuances and subtleties of the company's rationale for taking the actions it did were major obstacles. The former employees picketed the parking lot, confronted executives and concocted wild stories to get attention.
Dan helped the company tighten security, developed clear messages, drafted internal memos to staff and convinced journalists, including producers for Dateline NBC, that the story wasn't worth pursuing. As a result, the client company retained valuable employees and customers, and was able to weather the storm and survives to this day.
Photo by Jason Scragz.