Strategic communication is much more than saying the right thing. It is a management strategy that requires an in-depth understanding of our clients’ ultimate business objectives. It is a political campaign approach to winning the argument in the court of public opinion by refuting a client’s detractors and recruiting the undecided.
We work with our clients to implement complex communications initiatives that deploy the right messages via the most impactful media, reaching consumers, voters and decision makers directly.
Regulatory Compliance and Investigation Communication
Little business is done in the world without regulatory compliance requirements. While organizations can count on regulation as a part of doing business, government agencies, often with special interests backing them, move the goalposts by adding or changing regulatory rules constantly. We help our clients launch spirited, proactive defenses that can turn these regulatory situations around or, at least, minimize their adverse impact on the target company or industry.
When government agencies, congressional committees and state attorneys general are at your door, every single word attributed to you (accurately or not) is critical. External and internal communications are extremely sensitive. We’ve helped clients facing state investigations by attorneys general – including several who successfully prevailed over harassing, nuisance investigations and lawsuits launched by former New York AG Eliot Spitzer, as well as federal probes related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and securities fraud, Department of Justice and federal regulatory investigations (including EPA, FDA, CPSC, OSHA and NTSB), and congressional inquiries and investigations.
Twenty years ago, attorneys typically viewed communications and crisis management practices as irrelevant to the outcome of complex, high-profile litigation. That outmoded thinking just doesn’t cut it today. Now, clients must look for defense teams that integrate lawyers, communications professionals and other experts who can advance their positions and protect their reputations during times of intense scrutiny and legal risk.
In today’s 24-hour news cycle and pervasive digital media environment, where mere inflections can spiral into highly prejudicial coverage outside of the courtroom, it is even more critical that proactive communications strategies are put in place to frame the debate. Without that, and in the face of the plaintiff’s counsel, federal regulators, activist groups and state attorneys general, clients can lose the battle of public opinion before they even have their day in court.
Our experience as crisis managers and defenders of market share allow us to offer a unique perspective to our clients when it comes to corporate communications. We are uniquely equipped to identify vulnerabilities in corporate communications strategies and provide counsel in the face of stiff internal or external opposition or hostile audiences. We have been instrumental in helping to facilitate mergers and acquisitions, difficult reorganizations, staff reductions, corporate scandals and management transitions.
Media interaction is a discipline that requires patience and practice. Our approach to media training spends less time on the cosmetics of how to look in front of a camera and far more on performing effectively in the face of intense media scrutiny. We are experts at coaching client spokespeople on how to prepare for and triumph in crisis-driven interviews, especially under hostile questioning.
The virtues of this training also serve our clients beyond media engagement—we train our clients for regulatory hearings, congressional testimony, depositions (in conjunction with counsel), key business changes and corporate townhalls, to name a few. Our sessions are issue/organization-tailored, comprehensive, engaging and designed to prepare spokespeople and executives for the unexpected.