When confronted with evidence or allegations of potential wrongdoing the company should first understand all the accusations and facts, monitor what is being said, and then respond deliberately & thoughtfully and directly.
Attorneys are often a corporations first responder. That person who receives the call about a problem, investigation or allegation that could potentially put the company's brand and their corporate reputation at risk. Often times, the attorneys are too focused on the legal risk and not focused at all on the public or political risk.
While the company's corporate counsel is working with their legal team of in house and outside counsel, they should be working in tandem with the public relations team, including social media managers to orchestrate a response no matter what the issues or facts are. In the public, sometimes perception trumps reality, and a company must be ready to respond. Therefore, having a PR team ready to get engaged with their legal team in the first moments a crisis hits, will most likely become that make it or break it moment in how that company will emerge from the crisis.
Therefore, it is helpful for some PR professionals who just happen to be attorneys to work as an attorney with attorneys handling any investigation, manage the response and protect the brand and brand leaders. An attorney, skilled and experienced in PR and media relations is in a better position to work as a member of the legal team to protect attorney-client privilege and to add additional credibility to the response.