Combat PR Philosophy VI
A rationale on pro-active public relations


This can be taken two ways, either as a philosophy of pro-active, aggressive, don't take any prisoners "Para-PR", or the capability and willingness to move with great speed and accuracy when a crisis breaks.

The concept is more of an attitude or philosophy than specific working procedures. In this instance, it isn't what we do as much as "how" we do it and secondly, "when" we do it.


• The Atmosphere

In many cases, service vendors in the communications (PR and advertising) sit back like bored waiters in a restaurant waiting to be beckoned. Relationships of course don't start like that. Agencies win accounts by appearing to be brimming over with enthusiasm and fresh ideas with an essence or atmosphere of seeming to be pro-active. Unfortunately, it usually turns out to be "smoke and mirrors" with the honeymoon of initial energy often evaporating into a climate of disappointment. It can be the client's fault too but such disillusionment and eventual service termination could be avoided if only the agency would work a little harder to keep the "marriage" fresh, to provide stimulus and initiative. Boredom with the account is often the reason for breakup, lost like any personal relationship. When we see signs of this happening, we take action internally from brainstorming sessions to changing the servicing team.


• Actions/Procedures

The other side of combat or pro-active PR emerges when the client:
Finds that the light at the end of the tunnel is a train coming; they have been blindsided by the competition; there is an embarrassing product recall; the CFO has skipped town with the treasury. Or on the positive side, new opportunities for market share expansion suddenly unfold; a potential white knight suggests a highly profitable friendly take over - whatever the scenario, your agency needs to be ready to move in several directions at once in a Para-PR manner, from blitz-krieg release response to sensitive business-to-business representation at the most senior levels. These responses of a pro-active shop can be executed on behalf of the client only if there is an atmosphere of trust between the two - an intimacy only possible within a retainer relationship.


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