For those in the public relations profession, managing communications during a crisis is the true test of one’s skill.
Like many Americans, I watched television accounts and online reports of the Thursday shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas. Facts are scarce during any breaking news story of this type. Reporters want to know. Everything.
The first official report I witnessed was made by Lt. Gen. Robert Cone. This officer, to my knowledge and I might be mistaken, was the first military official to report on the shootings. He was calm and deliberate. He appeared credible. He was concise and respectful to those who had fallen.
I was in awe of this guy.
This type of crisis — immediate and unsuspected — is the most dreaded kind. You can’t prepare for it, like you could before a work stoppage.
But on this day of national tragedy, Lt. Gen. Cone made very proud to be in the public relations profession and to be an American.