5 Crisis Communications Lessons from Dr. Oz

droz 2By Gerard Braud

Dr. Mehmet Oz is in crisis communications mode. He has been making headlines in the media as medical colleagues criticize him for advice he gives and things he says on his syndicated television program.

His hometown newspaper, the New Jersey Register, asked for my opinion on how Oz has begun to attack his critics. You can read the full article here:

When a crisis comes, you can communicate or remain silent. My advice is that if the crisis is the result of criticism and you feel the criticism is unfair, then defending yourself by attacking your critics is a strong tactic. Oz has been on the attack against his critics, sighting that they have ulterior motives.

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If the media tell the story of your critics, you must reach out to the media to tell your story. Too many executives caught up in a crisis or controversy in the media, believe in the flawed old adage that, “You should never get in a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.” (I address this in Lesson 7 of my book Don’t Talk to the Media Until…).

Here are 5 ways to address critics:

1) Call a news conference and point out the flaws in their statements.

2) Write letters to the editor to all publications that publish erroneous criticism from your opponents. Keep the letter to about 150 – 200 words.

3) Post a longer version of your letter to your own website.

4) Think carefully before taking your fight to social media. The haters can get ugly fast and make the problem worse.

5) Never underestimate the power of taking out ads in major publications so you can print your full letter.

Don’t let a critic hurt your brand, your reputation or your revenue.

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