As PR counsellors who specialize in crisis communications and litigation support across a variety of complex issues, we are sometimes asked why an enterprise facing a litigation matter should turn to an outside communications firm instead of relying upon its in-house PR team. Based on our experience over many years, the following are what we believe are the benefits of hiring outside PR counsel:
- Enables a company’s senior executives and legal team to benefit from additional outside perspective that reflects lessons learned across other similar types of situations;
- Avoids distracting the members of company’s in-house comms team from their “day jobs” that support the positioning of the executive team and the business units, as well as the marketing of its products/services;
- Ensures a sharper focus on the larger corporate reputation among investors, regulators/elected officials, clients/customers, employees and other critical audiences – instead of on promoting products, services, brands and/or the positioning of individual executives;
- Offers deep experience with, and keen understanding of, complex litigation matters, legal filings, and the (sometimes arcane and obtuse) litigation process itself;
- Enhances efficiency by bringing in communications professionals who are well-accustomed to both working while maintaining Attorney-Client privilege—and quickly establishing an effective working relationship with outside legal counsel;
- Often brings access to existing working relationships with the national business and trade reporters who specialize in covering such matters;
- Offers expertise across broader crisis communications, including the ability to see around corners, guide responses to questions on the legal matter that may arise at other company announcements and events, and anticipate how increased attention on the company may spark other issues to manage; and
- Avoids the potential for issues of allegiance if interests begin to diverge among individual executives, directors and the in-house staff.
If you’d like to discuss these considerations in light of a potential or active litigation situation, please don’t hesitate to contact us at KARV. Thank you.