Protecting Clients’ Reputations, and Yours, When They Are Their Own Worst Enemy

On-Demand, available until Feb. 23, 2022
Recorded Feb. 11, 2021

Categories: Crisis & Reputation, Ethics, Leadership & Management, Techniques & Tactics

During this webinar, two longtime agency executives will have a frank discussion (without naming names) about situations they’ve experienced with clients who, despite their counselors’ best advice, made a tough situation worse with bad behavior. They’ll share what went wrong, what could have been done to prevent things from going poorly and how they helped repair client reputations while protecting their own reputations.

Public relations professionals are skilled at helping clients manage difficult situations, but what happens when the clients themselves are responsible for doing more damage and ignoring their counselors’ best advice? Is it possible to undo the damage your client has created without doing harm to your own reputation? How do long-term relationships factor into the solution? When do you walk away from a project that you feel is unethical or one that violates PRSA’s Code of Ethics? During this webinar, two longtime public relations agency executives will discuss specific situations where clients acted in their own worst interests, and the results were predictably bad. By sharing their stories in an interview format, Ronele Dotson and Jo Ann LeSage Nelson will help you see that “the client isn’t always right.”

By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Discern warning signs and know when to walk away from a project when it might harm their reputation or when it violates PRSA’s Code of Ethics.
  • Leverage their relationships to repair a situation gone wrong.
  • Employ best fixes for a bad situation and become a “superhero” to their client as a result.
  • Trust their instincts when something seems “off.”


Jo Ann S. LeSage Nelson, APR, Fellow PRSA, vice president, client services, Pierce Communications

Photo of Jo Ann S. LeSage Nelson, APR, Fellow PRSA

Jo Ann LeSage Nelson, APR, Fellow PRSA is vice president of client services for Pierce Communications, an Albany-based public relations/public affairs/crisis management firm where she is responsible for strategic public relations and communications counseling for Pierce clients. She is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America in the Capital Region, having demonstrated broad knowledge, experience, competence, and professional judgment in the field.

Ronele M. Dotson, APR, Fellow PRSA, president, RAD Strategies Inc.

Photo of Ronele M. Dotson, APR, Fellow PRSA

Ronele M. Dotson, APR, Fellow PRSA, is a native Renoite and entrepreneurial advocate. Founder and president of RAD Strategies Inc., the agency celebrates 18 years of business this year. Focused on the integration of marketing, communication, social media and innovative strategies, Ronele brings 28 years of dedication to the profession and the agency’s clients. She wears her commitment to and drive for the profession as a badge of honor leading programs that have resulted in increased economic vitality and demonstrated crisis communications leadership at the highest level.


Participants with the APR credential earn 0.5 CEUs for a webinar. Learn more about Accreditation renewal.