Friday, May 08, 2009

Responding to a Law Firm PR Crisis

An unfortunate Manhattan insurance defense firm that shall go unnamed here found itself the subject of a Daily News (New York) story today. In preparation for an office move, the firm was cleaning out some old client files. Rather than dispose of them confidentially, the Daily News found six overflowing dumpsters full of intact client files on the street.

Yikes! This warrants immediate implementation of the firm's crisis plan. (There is a crisis plan, right?)

Here are a few law firm crisis communication tips:

1. Recover the trash
2. Determine what happened
3. Plan to notify any client whose files were affected
4. Try to make some amends, like offering anti-identify theft protection
5. Appoint one person as the media spokesperson (inside or outside of the firm)
6. Some type of a public statement appears to be in order
7. Notify key clients personally
8. Hire an attorney
9. Post information to the website, like a firm contact for client questions
10. Instruct employees on what to do (which is direct all inquiries to one person)

This firm has a tough challenge.

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