When it comes to public relations, credibility is crucial. Without credibility you’re like the boy who cried “sheep” too many times, and nobody believes you. And if no one believes you, you can not relate to the public, and it’s time for a new profession.
There are a number of things that contribute to credibility. There is a chapter in Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath dedicated to the subject.
The chapter tells us that credibility is a combination of things -internal and external validation, authorities, antiauthority, details, statistics, the Sinatra Test, the testable credential – that when used effectively will undoubtedly build your brand. However the authors neglected to point out examples of credibility lost.
One great example of credibility lost is the Butter Queen Paula Deen. Here is a good opinion piece from U.S. News and World Report that details six lessons on crisis communications. Lesson two explains how important it is to harness a credible forum to tell your side of the story “honestly and quickly.”
Many experienced pr professionals will tell you there are many ways to handle any given situation. There is a simple foundation that one should follow, but leave room to be flexible because something will happen, and things will change. However, when reevaluating your processes, one thing should always go unchanged: maintain your credibility.
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