Growing up in Philadelphia, you always heard the refrain from Rocky “it’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” I always found it a little cliche…

Far be it from me to defame the patron saint of Philadelphia, but if you just keep moving forward and not changing your strategy, not adapting to your circumstances, eventually you’re going to get dropped.

It’s true in boxing and it’s true in public relations and reputation management.

An example – I found out shortly after my father passed away that I was in fact, a donor conceived child. Not knowing half of my health history, it seemed prudent to do a genetic test and there are a plethora of commercial options available. Lo and behold, I discovered my donor-parent as well as half siblings, cousins, and a global family I never knew existed until 2 weeks ago.

There are several directions someone could go upon learning the news that 1) their genetics are not what they thought they were or 2) that they have long lost siblings that they never knew about. You could close up, refuse to acknowledge and live your life as you always have – no harm, no foul. I understand the compulsion – playing it safe and not rocking the boat is a solid strategy.

On the other hand, I made the choice to be proactive and reach out to this new family. The platitudes of “life is short” and “carpe diem” (also cliche) come into play here, but really, I just felt that my family is small, might as well get to know about where my “relatives” come from.

To get to the point, whether it’s a long lost sibling or a crisis communications situation, there are always strategies that provide flexibility and opportunities to adjust to the situation at hand. Sometimes, lying low and playing it safe is the right option. Stopping the bleeding can be the difference between life and death.

But when an opportunity arrives to take a chance and swing big, the rewards can be even bigger. I’m living proof of it.

-Justin Giorgio, Senior Account Executive