A lawsuit can be damaging to a company’s brand. Whether it’s an allegation from an unsatisfied customer or a claim by a former employee, lawsuits can bring negative attention to your company. You need to be prepared to win not only in the court of law but also in the court of public opinion.
Once you and your legal team have been served or notified of a lawsuit, you need to bring your communications team up to speed. Good communicators will be happy to work with lawyers to create a plan and messages that support the legal strategy.
What you communicate and when depends on the legal situation you’re facing. Sometimes, you need to stay quiet to protect a legal position. Sometimes, you’ll need to interact with the media to make sure your side of the story is being told. There is no “one size fits all” response when developing a communications approach for a legal matter. That’s why you need a seasoned public relations team at your side.
Once the lawsuit is behind you—whether the case is settled, dismissed, won, or lost—you will want to discuss what you need to do to mitigate any damage the lawsuit has had on your brand. Sometimes, the matter passes quickly and you simply need to communicate with your employees and other key audiences. Other times, you will need to aggressively share information with the media to make sure they understand what happened and how you’re putting this matter behind you. Work with your legal team, human resources, and public relations professionals to determine what the appropriate course of action will be.
In this day and age, you’ll also want to discuss your approach to social media during litigation. Conversations about your company and the legal matter will take place in online communities. Discuss the appropriate approach with your legal and public relations team. It could be as simple as sharing the same messages on social media that you’re sharing with reporters and other audiences. Well-crafted and timely interactions on social media can stop negative information from spreading.
Every legal situation is unique. Your communications approach should be unique as well. Talk to Tucker/Hall today for more information on how we can support your company during litigation.