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In a field like public relations, no day is ever the same. When you are dealing with clients in the entertainment and lifestyle industry, you find yourself with no shortage of emergencies, crises and calamities. If you are having a “normal” day, it’s likely not to last long.

But, we thrive on exciting situations, and we are dying to remedy any type of chaos. Your flight got canceled? Let me call. You lost your interview schedule? Check your email – I just sent it. We are constantly thinking one step ahead of our clients’ needs and planning for the worst-case scenario before it occurs.

In our Situation/Solution blog series, we are excited to talk through some of our most harrowing (and often after the fact, hilarious) situations. One of our main goals is to keep our clients calm and hide them from the urgencies of emergencies. But, when you add a historic blizzard, a multi-city tour filled with travel plans and a book launch into the mix, sometimes your best bet is to hunker down and attack the problem head on.

THE SITUATION

Post-“Bachelor” and pre-adorable baby, Sean Lowe was (and remains) America’s hunky sweetheart. He found love on national television while remaining wholesome, authentic and wholeheartedly himself. “Bachelor” fans along with the rest of America could not wait for the release of Sean’s book, “For the Right Reasons,” hoping for an inside look behind their favorite television franchise and what it’s really like to find true love on and off screen.

Fast forward to January 2015. Our entire team had worked tirelessly on this project. We love Sean. We love “The Bachelor.” We were all here for the right reasons. Our team had pitched media for six months. We had a phenomenal media tour ready and a jam-packed schedule. It was the best-case scenario for a book publication. Everyone was excited to speak with Sean, from the “TODAY Show” and “Watch What Happens Live” to Redbook and US Weekly.

We’d built a monster media schedule – every phone number, travel confirmation number, call time and emergency contact had been meticulously pored over. You know where we were – our eyes were crossing from staring at this document for weeks and weeks. We were overly-prepared and super excited for the whirlwind week to come. What we weren’t ready for, though, was a historic snowstorm sweeping the Northeast and ready to wreck our meticulously organized plans.

Sean and an entire PR and publishing team were making their way to New York for the launch of “For the Right Reasons.” At the exact same moment, the blizzard was shutting down all major metropolitan areas and covering New York in snow and ice. Travel plans were canceled. Offices were closed. People were stuck.

 

THE SOLUTION

We could have given up then, and like a girl left without the final rose, cried in our SUV on the way home. But, as type-A, Enneagram #1, uber-organized people, our team relishes this type of challenge. Some of our team were in Nashville. Some of our team were already in New York. Sean and Catherine were stuck in Washington D.C. And, all our plans were up in the air.

We got to work, making phone calls, sending emails and preparing a whole new media schedule. The work we had done in months prior had been undone and reworked in less than 12 hours. One hundred emails, phone calls and text messages later, Sean and Catherine spent their first leg of the media tour completing a full day’s worth of interviews from the confines of their Washington D.C. hotel room.

While they were on phone interviews, our team was desperately trying to get them to NYC. JFK was closed. La Guardia was closed. We got them on a train from D.C. to NYC. And then the train station closed. We lucked out with a few flights running safely into the city, and finally, Sean and Catherine made it to New York.

There was so much going against our team in a very short time. It would have been very easy to let something slip through the cracks – let an email or phone call go unanswered. But we dug our heels in and powered through the epic blizzard. Because of that perseverance, our media contacts’ interest in Sean and his book, and Sean’s commitment to the tour, we did not lose one single interview that was originally scheduled. Even years later, this feels like a big win for our team and Sean’s New York Times best-selling book. It showed us that we could stay calm under pressure, work hard as a team and do whatever needs to be done for our client. And, that’s the attitude we bring to the table for every single project and client.

 

When was a time that you were in a crisis with a client? It may not be a blizzard, but there are all kinds of situations that arise every day in our industry.  We’d love to hear about your stressful PR stories!

 

 

 

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AUTHOR: Kerry Gardner