As attorneys move beyond providing just legal advice to being a trusted advisor to their clients, an area where they can add great value is in another court: the court of public opinion. According to the Wall Street Journal, a survey of CEOs found reputation damage as their number one strategic risk.
Attorneys have seen how a client’s reputation can be severely damaged long before setting foot inside a courtroom. Arthur Andersen was recognized as the leading global accounting firm, the gold standard in the industry. But three months after the onset of the Enron crisis, it was out of business. Not because of a legal proceeding or a trial -- that would come months later and ironically, clear them of charges -- but because of mass client defections driven by reputational damage from negative press coverage.
In working with the press, here are ten tips to follow: