All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

Avow or Avoid?: The Public Communication Strategies of Enron and WorldCom
Unformatted Document Text:  Avow or Avoid? 3 Background and Significance Public relations practitioners have as their paramount goal to keep organizational stakeholders informed and engaged. Legal counsel, on the other hand, must be focused on “winning” any litigation or regulatory fight. Thus, lawyers are often afraid that any message or utterance may come back to haunt them in court. But public relations professionals believe that a courtroom win at the expense of public support or organizational reputation may be a net loss. As crisis communication expert Bernstein put it, “If, after months or years of excellent legal work, you obtain positive results for a client—but the client’s business is still irrevocably damaged due to rumor, innuendo, misperception and competitors taking advantage of same,” the courtroom victory may have come at excessive cost (Bernstein, 2002). Lee, Jares and Heath (1999) found that public relations professionals and legal counselors have “highly cooperative relationships” (p. 243). However, they showed that legal counsel encroaches on public relations ground in times of organizational crisis. Reber, Cropp & Cameron (2001) found that public relations and legal counselors strongly affirm collaboration. Perhaps the changing nature of the media environment has demanded an increasing level of cooperation between legal counsel and public relations practitioners. In recent years, lawyers and public relations practitioners have been forced to work together as legal disputes have gained public notoriety. Furthermore, the types of crises that arise most frequently for organizations are ones that, by their nature demand involvement by both legal and public relations counsel. According to the Institute for Crisis Management, labor disputes, class action lawsuits, defects and recalls and workplace violence are among the most prevalent crises faced by organizations (ICM Crisis Report, 2001). In each of these crises, legal and public relations counsel are involved to help manage the message to various stakeholders and the questions of legal liability.

Authors: Reber, Bryan. and Gower, Karla.
first   previous   Page 3 of 30   next   last



background image
Avow or Avoid?
3
Background and Significance
Public relations practitioners have as their paramount goal to keep organizational
stakeholders informed and engaged. Legal counsel, on the other hand, must be focused on
“winning” any litigation or regulatory fight. Thus, lawyers are often afraid that any message or
utterance may come back to haunt them in court. But public relations professionals believe that a
courtroom win at the expense of public support or organizational reputation may be a net loss.
As crisis communication expert Bernstein put it, “If, after months or years of excellent legal
work, you obtain positive results for a client—but the client’s business is still irrevocably
damaged due to rumor, innuendo, misperception and competitors taking advantage of same,” the
courtroom victory may have come at excessive cost (Bernstein, 2002).
Lee, Jares and Heath (1999) found that public relations professionals and legal
counselors have “highly cooperative relationships” (p. 243). However, they showed that legal
counsel encroaches on public relations ground in times of organizational crisis. Reber, Cropp &
Cameron (2001) found that public relations and legal counselors strongly affirm collaboration.
Perhaps the changing nature of the media environment has demanded an increasing level
of cooperation between legal counsel and public relations practitioners. In recent years, lawyers
and public relations practitioners have been forced to work together as legal disputes have gained
public notoriety.
Furthermore, the types of crises that arise most frequently for organizations are ones that,
by their nature demand involvement by both legal and public relations counsel. According to the
Institute for Crisis Management, labor disputes, class action lawsuits, defects and recalls and
workplace violence are among the most prevalent crises faced by organizations (ICM Crisis
Report, 2001). In each of these crises, legal and public relations counsel are involved to help
manage the message to various stakeholders and the questions of legal liability.


Convention
All Academic Convention makes running your annual conference simple and cost effective. It is your online solution for abstract management, peer review, and scheduling for your annual meeting or convention.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 3 of 30   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.