Finding a common ground between public relations and legal issues can be a challenging endeavor. Emerging industries across the nation will face legal issues, and they will have to come up with a public relations game plan related to issues that will inevitably “crop up.”
As marijuana used for medical purposes increases in the United States, and with the legalization of the drug in states like Colorado, businesses selling the product are going to have to start thinking about what will happen if and when they find themselves in need of issuing a recall. Colorado companies have already had to issue recent recalls for some “bad” inventory. The first ever medical marijuana recall was issued by a Canadian cannabis company back in 2014 (Leaf Science, 2014).
Because the legalization of marijuana is a sensitive and controversial topic, public relations professionals and company managers must decide in advance how they want to approach the subject in the case of a recall. They must thoroughly understand state laws so as not to do anything illegal. It may even be wise of them to consult with a lawyer before making any comments. Being proactive and planning ahead will help new companies deal with issues when they arise and will hopefully help them to be able to salvage their reputation early on in the process.
Food for thought:
What would you do if you were in charge of one of these new companies facing a recall? Without clearly defined best practice standards, how would you decide the best plan of action? What if your state laws do not mandate a recall, but you know that you have sold a potentially harmful product to consumers?
As a marketing student, I am realizing that the marketing profession encompasses a wide variety of careers. Without experience in the field, it is often difficult to know where you would fit in best. I was curious about the area of public relations. What type of person does it take to be a successful public relations professional? Would my personality and skills be right for such a career? Would I enjoy it? These are all valid questions that anyone pondering the idea of a career in public relations should ask themselves. So what makes a great PR professional?
The first thing that a public relations professional must possess is technical skill. They must have a solid understanding of the public relations field, and they must have a desire to keep up with current events. They need to be proficient with computers, and they should understand basic business practices. Both written and verbal communication skills are imperative, and management skills are a big plus. (Seitel, 2014, p.15)
Another aspect to consider is personality. Some personal qualities fit with certain careers better than others. For example, a very shy and timid person may not be comfortable in a public relations role. On the other hand, a person who enjoys communicating with the public would be quite comfortable. PR professionals must be honest, ethical, and believe in what they are doing and who they are representing. They need a positive attitude and the ability to “bounce back” after a fall. Lastly, a good PR person is not afraid to take a risk and stand up for what they believe. (Seitel, 2014, p.15-16)
Think about PR professionals that you either know personally or know because they are in the news. Do they possess the above traits? Can you think of a PR professional that you consider to be really good at his/her job? What sets them apart from others in the field?
Seitel, F. P. (2014). The Practice of Public Relations 12th Edition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc.