What to do when you want to say ‘I didn’t do it’

There are times when a PR project with your name on it can be ruined by the work of others. Here are some ways to handle that scenario.

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Watching the most recent season of “Orange Is the New Black,” I was particularly taken by Red’s dilemma.

The feisty Russian finally clawed her way back to running the kitchen (she’d been exiled for a variety of offenses) only to have her authority immediately removed, with her cooking, a major source of pride for her, replaced by bags of inedible mush. Fearing her reputation was being trashed, she set out to let all her fellow prisoners know that she had nothing to do with the food. Her hands were tied and that no one should mistake the brown sludge as something that she would prepare. Her oft-repeated phrase: “I didn’t do it.”

Lots of PR practitioners have worked on a brand or campaign only to be removed for some reason (a new team, a different job, rejiggering of resources, the client decided to halt PR as a cost-cutting measure), only to see mistake after mistake pile up. It’s enough to make you want to shout out, “I didn’t do it!” It’s difficult to remain on the sidelines when you see your work destroyed, and all you want to do is clear yourself from any association. This can be a common occurrence.

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