March 30, 2017

Memo to the Marine Corps: Don't Pretend It's Just a PR Problem

By Amy Schafer and Neal Urwitz

Following almost every crisis and scandal, the person, company or government entity responsible is tempted chalk it up as "just a PR problem."

"If only they knew the real us," they say, "they'd never think we were irresponsible or immoral. We just need to sell ourselves better."

The inclination is easy to understand -- PR problems are easier to solve than "real" ones. Yet that approach almost always makes matters worse. Take how Ferguson, Missouri hired a PR firm after the shooting of Michael Brown to talk about how the city was a great place to raise a family. It backfired, to say the least.

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