Who Has the Authority to Judge Nuns?

Here’s something that caught my eye: “Judge wears nun disguise before convicting woman of bank robbery,” by Kim Janssen, about a judge that really used creativity to crack a case in his courtroom. He wore a nun outfit to demonstrate that the skin color around his eyes could be seen because the defendant in a robbery case claimed the outfit she wore didn’t expose her skin color.

What I like about the case is that the judge thought outside the box to prove his point in court. We usually think of the need for law firms to be careful about what they say, whether it’s in a court of law or the court of public opinion. However, attorneys should think creatively, especially when it comes to public relations.

Sometimes it takes a creative approach to crack the media because people like unique ideas and angles. In a previous post, I mentioned an attorney who was super-creative in court when he submitted a cartoon legal brief instead of the usual text version that people see all the time. It got him a lot of publicity and he still got his point across in court. I know another attorney who represents churches in land use battles, and he will often quote the Bible in oral arguments.

What can you come up with that’s unusual? It’s something to think about to get you and your firm more attention.  

Who Do You Call When a Slice of Pizza Faces a Crisis?

I often get media inquiries and I check them to see if a request would fit one of my clients. Usually they’re straightforward and I don’t think much about them, but recently, I saw this one from a freelance writer:
For a story in a national publication, I’m looking for input from experts and pizza restaurant owners on preparing for a weather-related disaster (floods, tornadoes, fire, hurricanes, etc). The story covers how to set up an emergency plan, train staff, and make sure the business has enough insurance coverage – before a disaster strikes.

What I found intriguing about this press request was that it was about pizza, but not about any scary story, such as when employees do gross things when making pizzas. We usually think of videos of bad employee behavior as “disasters,” but this press request is about real disasters and how pizza places handle them.

This media request is a reminder that you should be prepared for a media crisis. People often think that crisis communication is needed for a natural disaster, sex scandal, or government corruption. Even if you believe there’s no chance of you having such problems, you still need to think about what you would do if you or your business faced a crisis. A crisis for you may not be the same for someone else, so decide what plan of action you want to take, and how you want to respond. Create a “dark” area of your website with links, think of statements you’d make to the media, and decide who will be a spokesperson.