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  • Writer's pictureLauren Felkner

Crisis Management Clues

Let us take a journey back to the start of public relations.

At the start of the 20th Century, George Michaelis, Thomas Marvin, and Herbert Small founded the first publicity agency, Publicity Bureau. They gathered to write a strict set of principles, the most important being that the people should receive prompt and accurate information.

You might ask, “So where did PR get such a bad reputation?” My educated guess would be when authority found money more comfortable than accurate and ethical information. PR has made a comeback in this modern age, but it was not always so honest.

A classic case of controversy in PR is the Tylenol poisoning of 1982. Seven people in Chicago died from cyanide-laced painkillers. Johnson & Johnson immediately pulled 31 million bottles from the shelves and stopped production and advertising. Their crisis management team used the media to issue a national alert to tell the public not to use their Tylenol product because of the contaminated packaging. They even established a 1-800 crisis hotline for the matter. They lost over fifty million dollars in costs after tax savings, but we all still keep Tylenol in our purses or kitchen cabinet. Their reputation was salvaged in the end, so, because of their good public relations work, this is an example of timely and effective crisis management.

Public relations has definitely had its history of spinning stories, and terrible crisis management. But with your help, PR can keep a high integral repour. Find out about good PR tactics at!

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