CrisisPR Expert Dobson Offers PR Tips for Celebrities & Companies

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Gaffs by Stars Gary Oldman & Shia LaBeouf Show Lack of PR Savvy

Preparing for crisis often identifies looming problems that can be fixed before they emerge as major trouble.

Damaging years of image-building, movie stars Gary Oldman and Shia LaBeouf could have averted a torrent of negative news about them by heeding basic lessons of effective public relations, said Crisis PR expert Brian Dobson of Dobson Communications, who added that both celebrities exemplify out-of-touch behavior that would not be tolerated by any top consumer company managing brand name products.

Oldman, in a Playboy Magazine interview, made anti-Semitic and homophobic comments and LaBeouf reportedly disrupted a Broadway play insulting theater goers and his arresting officer.

“Reputation management is a full time task and can be impacted at any time. Oldman was promoting a new movie when he made the disparaging comments, while LaBeouf acted as though star power granted a pass for misbehavior,” said Dobson, a former journalist who headed PR at two major consumer products companies and has a PR agency, DobsonPR.com.

“Preparation helps avert crisis. In important media interviews, celebrities winging answers run the risk of hurting their brand value with ill-conceived comments. Principles of PR are similar to stars and companies and both have to prepare for crisis and public reaction," said Dobson DobsonPR.com executive in outlining three steps to prepare for media interviews and handle crisis when it hits:

1. Prepare questions and answers of the full range of possibilities that might develop to identify and correct potential problems.

2. Communicate clearly, concisely and consistently.

3. Stay in the media mix when trouble hits and promptly explain or sincerely apologize to limit reputation damage.

Often quoted in media about PR handling during crisis, Dobson was early in pointing out mishandling of PR by BP during the Gulf oil spill in a CNN-TV interview and has been quoted in media from coast to coast on various other corporate and product crises.

Brian Dobson has managed crisis PR in many situations, including for a global company's European unit during an extortion episode, brand image in a food recall, client image during a major Justice Department case, crisis PR strategy for a firm embroiled in a tainted blood scandal and as spokesman during plant closings, among other crises.

For more information visit http://www.DobsonPR.com or contact Brian Dobson at 203-894-9240 or BD (at) DobsonPR.com.

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Brian Dobson
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