Cindy Rakowitz, PR 101: 'No Comment' Is Not A Solution - Page 2
“It was almost as if that job was written for me, it was such a fantastic a time.”
How would it be possible for one to work for Playboy’s PR department and not learn how to deal with crisis? The things that Cindy dealt with on a daily basis had its range in scale from that of minor to epic.
“Every day, a crisis a day; whether it was a playmate that popped the saline in her implant while she was working out, to things much more major like criminal investigations. We had to deal with this stuff every day and make things seem like they were rosy.”
The only conceivable misfortune about working as the head of PR at Playboy is that she was also the President of the modeling agency; meaning that she constantly dealt with saline mishaps on a regular basis.
Cindy often finds herself revisiting the case studies from incidents at Playboy; she considers them to be a learning experience as they would be to anyone looking to learn how to deal with a crisis. She recalls a specific situation that she dealt with in a way that many would be able to learn from now.
“One of the things that Playboy was hit with was a playmate that said she was raped. I was working in the New York office at the time and I get a call from the Wall Street Journal at about 6:00 in the morning New York time, meaning it was still the wee hours of the night in LA. I get a call from the reporter saying that a playmate is saying that she was raped in the mansion. What’s your comment on this?”
Cindy had known nothing about it at the time.
“Wow, that’s obviously a serious allegation. I would really ask for you to wait for me to find out what’s going on. This is not something that will be taken lightly at all. I called the mansion and found out that Hef and Playboy security had responded to this immediately with the LAPD. Not only was Playboy being investigated, they were also inviting everyone to do the necessary investigation. They took this very seriously. Later on, we had found out that she wasn’t raped; she had invited some of the staff to come in and have consensual sex with her. This was the kind of thing that prepares one for crisis management, even though there was a sophomoric quality to that, it applies to other phone calls you might get.”
In essence, what does one do when they get that kind of phone call from a reporter?Continued on the next page