It’s much easier to get a good press and come across well in the media if you have got the policy right or made the correct decision in a crisis. The public can generally tell when an interviewee is concealing something or doesn’t really believe in what they are saying.
One of Bill Clinton’s former Presidential aides coined the phrase “Tell it all, tell it early and tell it yourself.” And he must have had more experience than most people in getting a high profile figure out of trouble!
The truth will almost always come out in the end – a lesson learned the hard way by one of Mr Clinton’s predecessors as US President, Richard Nixon. He tried to cover up the Watergate burglary but dogged journalism and a well- placed source in American law enforcement made sure he didn’t get away with it. He was forced out of the White House.
No matter how hard, it is always better to come clean straightaway, apologise, put things right and move on. People and organisations in the eye of a PR storm often try to tell part of the story and hope the news media will stop asking awkward questions. It never works that way. Far better to take control from the start and don’t let the media lead you by the nose.
Chances are that you will have salvaged, possibly even improved, your reputation and public image. You will undoubtedly have earned yourself a better night’s sleep.