Danya Proud; Ragan's PR Daily

Seeing Crisis as a Teachable Moment

McDonald's media relations director advises getting out of the bunker and viewing a crisis as an opportunity to educate your audience.Too many corporate officials and PR professionals recoil in the face of a crisis. The director of media relations for McDonald's, who is no stranger to crisis, sees it as an opportunity "to educate."

To earn a teachable moment, Danya Proud tells Ragan's PR Daily, you must "acknowledge you're not perfect."

"If you made a mistake," Proud says, "own up to it. Let people know you're listening to them."

The temptation many succumb to when facing a crisis is to dissemble or head for the bunker, hoping the storm will blow over.

Proud's advice: "A crisis can be an opportunity to set the record straight. I seize every opportunity to educate."

"It's not about what you want to say," Proud adds. “It's about what your audience wants to hear."