How PR pros can manage media relations when leaders fall ill

What do you do with interviews and press opportunities when your chief executive is out on medical leave or another emergency? This advice can help.

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No one, no matter how big a splash he or she has made in the business world, is immune to illness. Brand managers must be prepared.

Here’s how to handle these situations.

Lessons from the Past

Executives of major corporations might want everyone to think they can never be taken down, but no person, no matter how powerful, is immune from natural events. Executives have gotten sick and passed away while they were still in control of their company.

Steve Jobs is one of the most famous. The founder of Apple went on medical leave near the beginning of 2011 after contracting pancreatic cancer. He died from the illness in October that year.

Larry Page of Google missed a major shareholders meeting in 2012 when he lost his voice. It was later revealed that Page suffers from a rare condition of vocal cord paralysis. It doesn’t affect his work performance, but some people were highly concerned about his health for a while.

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