Over the Christmas period, I found myself enjoying yet again many clips from old Morecambe and Wise Shows. I also found myself unable to avoid hearing a lot about Nigella Lawson.
I found it interesting to see how Nigella’s reputation survived what seemed like very bad publicity. This is partly because the press did not all seem to sympathise with her ex-employees, even when the Court found them Not Guilty. It was also partly due to her ability to portray herself as a victim. And thirdly, it was because she managed to get everyone’s attention on to her new TV series, and so thinking about her talents rather than her private life.
There seems to me to be a similarity with the way the guests on Morecambe and Wise were humiliated in a way, yet found their public image improved. This was, at least partly, due to the way they reacted to the insults on screen.
The lesson I gained from all this was that your reputation can be helped rather than harmed by an incident if you, and your Public Relations people, respond in a positive way. So your Reputational Risk can be managed, just like any other, even if the events around you can not.
Of course, not everyone has had the advantage of being married to a Public Relations expert, but we can all try to learn from other people’s good and bad examples. Or go to consultants.