Pillory Barn is now able to offer crisis PR. This 24-hour responsive service is available with the addition of journalist Sarah Hawes to our staff.
It can be used by existing and new clients to deal with potentially negative media exposure and is offered on a ‘use and pay’ basis.
If a news reporter calls your company with details of a story that could affect you or your company’s reputation, you know that Pillory Barn is on the end of a telephone, to limit the damage it may cause
Crisis PR relies on the following, to be effective:
Fast action – as soon as a negative story is brought to your attention, you must act fast. Call us and we’ll get the ball rolling on how to handle it.
Take it seriously – when they give you a deadline to respond by, make sure you do so with good time and prepare for it to be brought forward. Journalists have a quick turn-around on stories if they sniff them out as deadlines loom. The media waits for no-one.
Honest and informative - the comment you give to the journalist needs to be honest and informative. There’s no point in giving a wishy-washy response to try and cover anything up – you’ll be found out. Be honest and give the information you’re asked for. Sarah says: “Feed the beast or it will eat you alive.”
Show you care – make sure your comment reflects your regret at the situation (if applicable) and if you’re in the wrong, hold your hands up. There’s no point getting defensive – admission of a failure will get you further than clamming up and refusing to get involved.
Sarah will find out what the story is, the angle and what the journalist is looking for from the comment. She will talk to the journalist giving them background and confidential information where necessary and then give them the ‘on the record’ information, agreed by you.
She will then develop and maintain two-way communication with the journalist or media to ensure any chances of future negative PR are avoided, plus seek opportunities for pro-active positive PR where she can go to those journalists who have handled the negative story, offering them stories to rebuild your reputation.
The last thing you want is a journalist off-side and Sarah knows just how to manage the situation.
Studied broadcasting at Farborough College of Technology in Hampshire, gaining a degree from the University of Surrey. (1997 – 2000)
Worked at the Kent Messenger straight after leaving university as a junior reporter, rising to senior reporter then assistant news editor. During her time at KMG Sarah studied and completed all journalist qualifications in-house, including NCTJ exams, an NVQ and shorthand.
Sarah joined Kent Police for her first PR job as part of the Force’s Media and Communications team, responsible for policing in North Kent. This involved promoting good work, seeking out public interest stories and fire-fighting negative news stories from local, regional, national and on occasion, international media. Sarah took redundancy from Kent Police in 2011 and left to have her daughter.
Joined Pillory Barn in April 2012 as Account Manager.← Back to News Releases