*Crisis mitigation specialist Zakiya Larry uses a football analogy to best explain her delight in navigating pubic relations catastrophes.
“It’s almost like how sports fans watch a football game and say, ‘Ahh, man, he should’ve not run that play. He could’ve caught the interception.’ You kind of armchair quarterback,” says Larry, who launched her firm Quest Media Training nearly a decade ago. “For me, watching crises unfold, particularly [Bill] Cosby and [Sha’Carri] Richardson, that’s my Super Bowl. I’m thinking what’s the Hail Mary? What can get us over the goal line?”
Larry calls herself an “elevation strategist,” taking brands “from where they are to where they ultimately want to be.” The Memphis-born, Dallas-“planted” professional began her career in television and radio journalism, then dovetailed into strategic communications, working with such brands as McDonald’s, T.D. Jakes Ministries, Sony Pictures, and others. She has appeared as an expert in the field for The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, The Washington Post, and Essence, to name a few.
We invited Larry to our For the Record podcast to get her insight on two of the day’s biggest PR challenges – Cosby and Phylicia Rashad – and her thoughts on Richardson’s apology and accountability. Larry breaks down what her PR strategy would be in each of the three cases, and the route Cosby and Rashad should take to get back in the public’s good graces.