4 laws every PR professional should know for a crisis

You don’t need a legal degree, just some basic understanding of the legalities surrounding public relations firestorms.

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Your crisis plan likely includes key personnel from each department, so you know that in each situation you’ll have the right corporate team member to help. Your crisis team may even include someone from the legal department, if the organization is big enough.

For many businesses, however, there is no legal department, and there may not even be an attorney to call. That means you may need to know some legal basics, even if you are not a legal advisor.

In trying to control the public perception during an organizational crisis, possessing some legal knowledge can be the difference between fueling the fire and helping to extinguish it. While there are many different laws, possessing a basic understanding of the following four laws will enable you to approach most situation with a more tailored plan.

1. Defamation

The social nature of online communication makes it easy to say anything about anyone at any time. On more frequent occasions, companies are finding out they’re at the mercy of rating and review sites, bloggers who take exception to something the company says or does, or former employees who may take a professional dispute public.

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