Over the years, those of us who have endured in this industry are frequently asked to comment on how companies or individuals in the harsh media spotlight are handling their public relations dilemmas. Should Martha Stewart have agreed to appear with Barbara Walters? Did Merck do the right thing in so publicly withdrawing Vioxx from the market? Is Newsweek’s Mark Whitaker behaving as transparently as the public expects from a trusted news source?
The number of “PR pundits” willing to comment are in no short supply. The danger, however, in opining on the crisis du jour lies in the likelihood that the Monday morning quarterback does not have access to the other team’s injured reserve list. To comment on a crisis communications strategy without knowing all the facts available to those actually making the decisions, is second guessing.