We do a lot of crisis communications work at my crisis PR agency. Most of the clients who hire us for these matters aren’t publicly announced, but annually, we bill over $1 Million in crisis communications. We do crisis communications work for people who have (or are concerned they will be) indicted or arrested, or corporations who are concerned a certain issue may hit the media, providing damage control and the like. As such, we deal extensively with producers for programs such as Dateline, 20/20, 48 Hours and others. I have spoken with Robert “Joe” Halderman, and worked with countless other reporters and producers on these programs, including the famed Martin Bashir.
I stand as one who wasnt surprised to learn of Halderman’s extortion attempt. It was bound to happen – dealing with producers for these programs, we have found a select few of them to be non-stop and at times vengeful. They operate with their own set of rules, and realize the power a negative story on their programs can do to one’s life. Their power is tremendous and can ruin lives.
We have had clients threatened, cursed, lied to and worse, and it was simply a matter of time before a Producer asks for millions to not have a story aired. The fact that this was David Letterman makes this an even larger issue.
“PR is a mix of journalism,
psychology, and lawyering - it’s an ever-changing and always interesting landscape.”
Ronn is the CEO of 5WPR and author of best selling PR book, For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations, and a regular contributor to Fox News, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Insights Wired, Everything-PR and more.