Preparation is key to riding a crisis, says Ralph Jackson.

As marketeers and PRs working in professional services know, having your firm or client criticised in your professions’ media is not great; it’s even worse when that can escalate to the legacy (or traditional) media and social media. So when law firm Devonshires was caught up in it’s own spot of bother – ‘Cleaner sacked for eating leftover sandwich’ was RollOnFriday’s headline – the ingredients of the story was pure clickbait for the wider media.

This piece though is not about that sandwich – you can read for yourself what happened and what people thought of the key players involved. The focus here is on how you can be prepared for such eventualities, how you can understand and manage the likely escalation of an issue when various stakeholders are involved, and how you can manage things differently. The questions I’m answering are why things go wrong, what could have been done better and what are the lessons learned.

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