This weekend’s tragic shooting in Tucson is a reminder of why being prepared is so important in PR. Just like a fire station tries to prepare for any situation, so too should PR professionals.
Consider just some of the issues that came from this incident:
Sportsman’s Warehouse has to defend its position that Jared Lee Loughner passed his FBI background check before one of its employees sold him the gun that was used kill six people and injure 14 more.
Pima Community College has to determine if it did enough when Loughner was a student there, as classmates and at least one instructor were disturbed by his bizarre, threatening behavior.
Gun rights supporters must defend their stance that Arizona’s lenient gun laws are in the best interest of the public.
Gun opponents will ramp up their efforts at changing laws and swaying public opinion.
All political parties must examine their use of rhetoric and its possible impact on individuals and society.
Lawmakers must defend legislation under consideration that would expand a ban on symbolic threats from just the President to congress.
Congress will have to consider new levels of security for all its members, and how to deal with issues of extreme importance while one its own lies in a hospital bed fighting for her life.
These are just a handful of the societal issues that will be dealt with and an important reminder as to why you always plan for the best and prepare for the worst when it comes to PR.