School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Handling PR Crises

Posted on: September 24th, 2010 by
Pictured, left to right, are two UM Journalism alumni with Lecturer Robin Street (center). Karen Hinton is president of Hinton Communications in Washington, D.C. Lee Ragland is vice president for public relations with the GodwinGroup in Jackson, Miss.

BP’s oil spill crisis has reminded public relations professionals how important public relations is when a company is in crisis.

Two Ole Miss Journalism graduates now practicing public relations discussed the steps a company should take in a crisis during a program at the Overby Center on Sept.. 17.

Karen Hinton, owner of Karen Hinton Communications in Arlington, Va., a Washington suburb, and Lee Ragland, director of public relations for the Godwin Group in Jackson, were on a panel moderated by UM faculty member Robin Street, who coordinates the PR sequence.

“A crisis can totally change the public reputation of a company, as we have seen with BP recently,” said Street. “How a company handles a crisis in terms of public relations is critical. My students and I learned a great deal from our two speakers, both of whom are experts in handling crisis PR.”