There is no universally approved or formal title for professionals who perform immediate crisis support.
Often used titles include “PR Pros” or “PR guy or gal,” or generally speaking, “Crisis people” (e.g., “Wells Fargo‘s PR people were spinning this crisis into a positive for the bank.”). The label “spin doctors” is one that makes us negatively cringe. There’s also a pop culture reference to the film “Pulp Fiction” and Harvey Keitel’s character, Winston Wolfe or “The Wolf,” who acts as the ultimate “problem solver.” When the “S hits the fan,” you call in The Wolf.
As reputation and crisis management professionals, we typically don’t care what you call us, just as long as you call us preferably before we’re needed (ReputationUs proclaims that crisis management is 99% preparation and 1% execution).
We recently revisited these monikers and developed a more appropriate title, “Reputation Manager.” As caretakers of businesses and nonprofits, we are tasked with being stewards to their messages and reputations, while being attentive to their needs to communicate to their executives, staff, customers and public audiences. We take a proactive approach to reputation management in order to avoid a crisis.
The Reputation Manager is a simile to flight attendants who 1) constantly cater to the plane’s passengers (pillow anyone?), 2) prepare passengers before the plane departs in the event of an emergency and 3) appropriately and diligently react when the plane is in trouble.
We let the CEOs (e.g., pilots) fly the plane and the board (e.g., control tower) provide direction and clearance, while we remain steadfast in our focus to inform the flight’s staff, passengers and public about news (good and bad) that affect them. As Reputation Managers, we first LISTEN to the passengers to hear and understand what their needs and concerns are about the airline and flying before we service their needs.
The Reputation Manager’s position is often a thankless job, but we are critical in the success of the many journeys a business takes each day. Without us, it’s like a plane without, well, a flight attendant.
Need a Reputation Manager? Contact us @ contact@ReputationUs.com