Damage control and crisis management is a necessity. I mean, it's a field in PR that everybody is going to need, hopefully not, but if it does happen, there is a skill and a way to deal with it, and a lot of the times there's PR firms that specifically specialize in crisis management.
I don't, but I've had certain clients get into a jam, and I've had to put my damage control hat on, and do crisis management. And basically it's about looking at the situation, and figuring out how to clean it up, and how to turn it positive. Sometimes it's simply crafting a statement to put out to the media, and sometimes it can be even lengthier is changing a person's image. Okay, they did something bad, but now we need to flush that down, and make them think of them in a different way.
So a lot of the time damage control could be charity work. They did something bad, the next thing you see them do all different acts of goodwill, and you make sure it's photographed, and you make sure that it's covered, and make sure that like you're kind of changing their image to being more philanthropic than the one crisis that they had.
It could be using humor. One of my favorite, favorite examples in PR is when Hugh Grant got caught with a hooker, and he went on a talk show and he was honest. Honesty sometimes is the best key in crisis management, because people will forgive you if you're honest with them, and throw in a little bit of humor, they'll love you even more for it.
So basically, Hugh Grant went on David Letterman, he was honest, he's like, yes, I did this, and then he made a joke about it that everybody laughed and thought it was funny. And guess what? He was forgiven, crisis averted, perfect example of crisis management and damage control.