LOS ANGELES—Tellem Worldwide, which recently partnered with Bernstein Communications to offer joint services to celebrities in crisis, has launched its proprietary PR Crisis Scale, a tool companies and the
media can use to help grasp the depth and ramifications of negative publicity as it occurs and learn the steps required to remedy it.
The firm, which is currently assisting the Santa Barbara District Attorney handling the Michael
Jackson case, ranks the public relations aspects of a crisis from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most severe.
“Clients always ask, ‘How big is my crisis?’” says agency principal Susan Tellem. ”Our PR Crisis Scale answers that question by ranking the severity compared to previous crises and outcomes.” Tellem adds that by knowing the size and potential negative impact of a crisis, companies can manage both their expectations and resources better, thus giving them the best chance to repair an image and win back the public’s trust.
Tellem says the onstage kiss between Britney Spears and Madonna or the shoplifting charges against Winona Ryder merited only a one on the crisis scale, whereas the Exxon Valdez oil spill a decade ago was a full-blown five.