By: Olivia Wolfertz
Last Monday, American University’s PRSSA had the pleasure of hearing Crisis Communications speaker and president of Ervin – Hill Strategy give an insightful glimpse into crisis communications and tips for being a good strategic thinker.
Expecting to hear another lecture about how to network, the importance of internships, and advice for maintaining social media, I was pleasantly surprised by Mr. Hill’s refreshing grassroots take on PR. He explained how mastering the message behind the mission is the key to carrying out successful strategies via tactics. Instead of emphasizing press releases, newsletters and formal events, Hill believes PR should focus more on the “bottom line” message. Focusing on the primary message ensures that the strategies and tactics used will actually help relay the overall mission statement.
Aside from his personal take on PR, I was fascinated by Hill’s experience in the crisis communications field. He participated in several thrilling cases, such as recovering clients from scandals of unethical behavior at a hospital. Hill emphasized the need for quick and decisive decision making skills in the field of crisis communications as well as a flexible mindset. The biggest downside of this career, he said, is the immense time commitment required. Anyone who wants to flourish in this career must willingly put his or her social life on hold.