Surviving a PR disaster is never an easy thing for anyone to do, especially when you are headed off to jail after losing your job where you made upwards of $50 million a year. Unfortunately, this was the case for Jordan Belfort, the real-life New York stockbroker who is portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the new movie The Wolf of Wall Street. After his very public crisis,  Belfort restored his public image and today works to educate others on the mistakes he made. Here’s some tips we recommend for all those who find themselves in a PR pickle:

1.) Do Your Time 


 This applies literally for Jordan Belfort. In 1998, Belfort was indicted for securities fraud and money laundering. As a result he spent 22 months in jail, but “doing your time” does not always mean incarceration. Most of the time it means apologizing and staying out of the public spotlight. After suffering a PR crisis, keep a low profile and allow time for the situation to smooth over after your apology. Accepting the consequences of your actions is always key in recovering from a PR nightmare. Never blame anyone except the one who is responsible - taking the heat will improve your public image in the long run.

2.) Recover with a New Approach 

 Plan a new way to present yourself after dealing with a crisis. While incarcerated, Belfort wrote a tell-all memoir detailing his experiences on Wall Street and sold it upon his release from prison. As someone who was known for his work in the world of business and not his writing skills, writing a book was a challenge for Belfort. Turns out, jumping out of his comfort zone with a new approach worked in his favor. His book not only sold millions of copies in 40 different countries, it also helped people re-discover his name through a new image and lessen the impact of his past actions. 

3.) Use Original Talents Differently

Belfort has always had the unique ability to motivate and inspire his employees to achieve goals they never could have imagined. Now that he has recovered from his PR crisis, Belfort has created a brand new image for himself as a fantastic consultant who can forewarn a business of potential malpractices. He uses the success of his book to promote himself as a motivational speaker and businessman. His openness and honesty have helped him relate to more people and gain back the public’s trust after his previous errors in judgment. 

PR disasters allow for a creation of new opportunities if resolved correctly. After being portrayed by one of the biggest movie stars in world, Belfort’s story is sure to grow in popularity.

MediaSource is a media relations and content production firm that specializes in brand journalism tactics. From news media coverage to consumer video tactics, MediaSource partners with the nation’s top hospitals and corporations to get their message to targeted audiences. MediaSource is best known for delivering brand buzz by amplifying messages across both earned media and company-owned media channels.

AuthorKevin Volz