Here is a perfect example of how the press can crucify your company if you are not ready for the hard answers. This article ran in Adriane Kingsley-Hughs ZDNet blog...
I’ve given Psystar the benefit of the doubt and cut the company a lot of slack, but I’m now in agreement with Larry Dignan that, at best, the company is run by amateurs. And amateurs that have made some pretty major mistakes at that. You can’t change the address of your company four times in the matter of a few hours without attracting some level of negative attention. You can’t bad-mouth your credit card payment processor and say that it couldn’t handle the volume of transactions when that is a lie. Then switching to PayPal only to have that rug yanked from under them just underlines the clumsy, Clouseauesque way the business is being run. You also can’t dodge simple questions, such as those posed by Brian Caulfield writing for Forbes, without seeming a little suspicious:
Still, Pedraza is short on the sorts of details most startups won’t shut up about. He won’t go on the record about his educational background, detail his professional history or name any previous ventures. The company’s Open Computer is based on a machine put together by his brother (whom he won’t name), he says.
Bottom line, I think that Psystar is going to have a hard time finding a payment processor willing to handle transactions for the Open Computer....
...Given a reasonable 7 to 14 days turnaround for the Mac clones, customers who managed to order systems before Psystar’s credit card processing facility was withdrawn should be seeing their systems delivered next week or the week after. Then we’ll at least know that Psystar is real. But I don’t see even glowing reviews being able to save Psystar now. [For the full story click here]
So what is the lesson learned from this disastrous PR outing? Be ready for those tough questions. If you don't want to talk about your background then don't be a spokesperson for the company. If your company doesn't have the corporate credibility bring in someone who does and make sure he/she can handle tough media questions. Controversy is not a bad PR strategy, just have good answers to back up what you are doing. This is a typical case of arrogance overcoming strategy.
Be ready to launch... have a media trainer run through the tough questions and strategize the answers, have the best spokesperson be the front person. Make sure your points of credibility are in place (Strong management team, product with a clear ROI, Marquee partners, brand recognized customers or endorsers, and a strong industry trend to leverage) and if not have an answer for the alternatives.