Washington, D.C. is a triumph of urban planning, where rows upon rows of main streets and thoroughfares intersect in an orderly pattern, and swift-moving subway lines transport the teeming masses of workers and tourists with seldom a hitch.
But it is also a city where chaos reigns. Inside the walls of its imposing federal buildings and offices, the not-so-orderly business of government takes place. And with its legislators, lobbyists, and corporate executives all vying to advance their agendas, it can be a cauldron of controversy, litigation, and damaged reputations.
In other words, it’s a perfect place to operate a thriving crisis management firm called Red Banyan specializing in Washington crisis PR.
In our nation’s capital, perhaps more than any other city, perceptions are reality. So, whether you are in government or the private sector, anything that could make you or your organization look bad is potentially a crisis for you. To protect your image and reputation, preparation is key.
As a Washington-based crisis management consulting firm, our sole purpose is to fight for our client’s position, not only during a time of crisis, but through the aftermath, where we do the hard work of restoring an individual’s or a company’s good name. But it is also our mission to help avert a crisis before it even takes place.
To that end, we advocate running a crisis audit, which consists of a thorough review of your business practices, preferably when no crisis is imminent. This top to bottom assessment allows us to map out a crisis landscape and risk analysis unique to your situation. If any potentially damaging red flags appear, we will alert you so that you can avoid the consequences.
Experience is the critical factor. While every situation is different, we find that the more we do crisis PR, we recognize situations where the specifics may change, but the overall scenario is similar to something we’ve seen before. This allows us to develop a personalized client roadmap that will provide guidance and direction to help you can see your way through your difficulties.
After having identified the biggest threats to your reputation, and mapped out a way to overcome them, we also strongly recommend that our clients establish crisis protocols, especially in regards to the media. During a time of crisis, a protocol controls the flow of information, so that externally, people know the ground rules of how they can get their questions answered.
At the same time, a crisis protocol is essential internally as well, because people in your organization will need to know what is expected of them. Everyone should know how to respond if a reporter calls on the phone or shows up in person. If they don’t, then your company is at risk.
Many strategic communications firms don’t go into this level of detail when it comes to crisis preparation, but at Red Banyan, we make sure our clients leave nothing to chance.
As a crisis PR practitioner, you are typically under more scrutiny, the timeframes are shorter, and your margin for error is slim to none. It takes a rare individual to thrive under these conditions, and those are the kind of professionals we hire.
While other public affairs firms and Washington, D.C. public relations firms may do a perfectly acceptable job developing your message during a period of relative calm, it is another story when you are embroiled in a crisis and the press is demanding a response. That is our time to shine—and we do so by putting you in the best possible light.
Once we get a call, our team immediately assesses the key elements of a crisis through the lens of prior situations. We then develop a threat matrix that’s unique to the event and map it against what’s hot on the newswire. The objective here is to distance your situation from any topics that are currently a subject of media focus.
At the same time, we also advise our clients on the optimum use of their online presence. Social media affords you the opportunity to curate your own messaging and create your own content. In other words, you can control what people see. So, it actually provides a unique venue to counter existing public perceptions of you.
Traditional media is another one of our strong suits, and we know how to use it to a client’s advantage. At Red Banyan, we’ve cultivated a solid relationship with the press by continuously building on our reputation as a Washington, D.C. strategic communications firm that simply does not and will not lie. Reporters know this, and are more likely to take interest in the stories we send to them.
That brings us to a key aspect in crisis communications—establishing the story in a way that changes the public’s perception of a person, or a company. Think of it like this: during a time of crisis, you’re looking at a portrait of a person—in other words, a very narrow focus of them engaged in a certain incident. What you want your story to do is shift to a landscape perspective.
You want reporters to grasp the entire scope of a crisis. To paint a fuller picture, you want to explain any underlying motives, as well as expand upon all the surrounding circumstances.
By shaping a story in this way, you’ll be more likely to justify your client’s actions and move beyond the isolated event.
Crisis Communication Services in Washington, D.C.
Unlike other D.C. public relations firms that may treat it like a sideline, crisis communication is our area of focus at Red Banyan. As such, we’ve developed a suite of crisis communication services designed to address a full range of our clients’ needs. Ranging from crisis planning and consultation, to media relations and engagement, we cover the highly specialized discipline of crisis management like no one else.
At the heart of our offering is a proven, proprietary approach called Press the Truth. Pressing the truth means we don’t just state the facts to reporters or the public at large, we put the full weight of our influence behind the messages we send. For every client we accept and has a legitimate crisis to contend with, we press their narrative and make sure their story or point of view gets communicated directly to the people who need to hear it.
Depending on your needs, we can also work in tandem with your legal counsel and provide the kind of real-world expertise that can help address your situation often more effectively than through litigation alone.
Crisis Communications Experts—Red Banyan
So, whether you live or work in the Washington, D.C. area, and are facing an impending crisis, take a positive step toward keeping your reputation intact and discuss your circumstances with Red Banyan. You’ll get one-on-one access to an experienced crisis professional who can provide expert guidance on how to resolve your situation.
At Red Banyan, our responsive crisis PR service is always just a call or click away.