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Golin Executive Discusses Crisis Management With UF PRSSA

March 21, 2016

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 21, 2016) — During Scott Farrells visit to the University of Florida Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), he described crisis as “any product stopping, people stopping or show stopping event that jeopardizes a company’s relationship with stakeholders or endangers their reputation.”

Farrell, president of global corporate communications for Golin, shared well-developed insights from his years of experience as a communicator.

Giving students a holistic view of crisis, Farrell began his dialogue by describing brands. On this topic he said consumers “buy” reputations. Image and reputation is a salient issue among all companies, he said.

To help combat the growing challenges of a changing landscape in crisis management, Farrell offered five guidelines:

  1. 1. “Slow” kills companies fast
  2. 2. Your competitor’s crisis can become yours
  3. 3. Social media derives traditional media
  4. 4. New venues of communication become global problems
  5. 5. Local issues can become global problems

Many of Farrell’s points suggested that speed plays a huge role in crisis communications.

“It use to be that you would read about something in the New York Times and then tweet about it,” said Farrell. Now the roles are reversed.

With regard to messages, he touched on the role successful communicators play when crisis emerges. His “six R’s of successful crisis communications” include rapid response, responsibility, regret, restitutions, reform and resolution.

“We’re note like Scandal,” said Farrell, wrapping up the evening. “We can’t always fix the problem completely.”

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About the Public Relations Student Society of America

The Public Relations Student Society of America (www.prssa.org) is the foremost

organization for students interested in public relations and communications. Founded in

1968 by its parent organization, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), PRSSA

includes more than 11,000 student members and advisers, and is active at more than 340 colleges and universities.


Lauren Maloney