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How to Protect Your Marketing, Communications or Public Relations Business

May 8, 2017

Marketing plays a critical role in the success of any business. From  advertising and public relations to digital and social media, marketing creates awareness and generates business for your clients.  Since you are being entrusted with the responsibility of protecting and promoting the image of your client, should you ever do anything that negatively impacts their bottom line or reputation, your business could be sued.

Suppose you create an advertising campaign for a client that includes print, digital, and radio ads using a new tagline. Just as your campaign debuts, a much larger competitor releases a campaign with a similar tagline. Their campaign overshadows yours and, worse, your client is accused on social media of trying to knock of your competitor’s concept. Your client sues you for damage to their reputation and loss of business.

You know this was just a coincidence, nevertheless, you have to defend yourself against this claim, including having an attorney represent you. This event could cost you, if you don’t have professional liability insurance.

Professional liability insurance is sometimes called errors & omissions or E&O coverage. It protects your business from claims  in which you did something you shouldn’t (an error), or didn’t do something you should have (an omission). It can protect you, even if you haven’t made a mistake. Make sure the policy you choose will cover your costs to defend yourself, as well as any settlement or judgment. It should also include coverage for copyright infringement, since that’s a common risk faced by marketing professionals.

Here’s an example of a risk you could face as a public relations professional. Suppose you’re at a trade show on behalf of a client. You’ve brought your assistant along to help you answer media questions at the trade show booth. While at lunch, your assistant gets involved in a conversation with someone from the press about your client, and says some things that are unflattering. Your client overhears the conversation and sues your business for defamation. Your costs to defend yourself, as well as any settlement or judgment, could be covered by a professional liability insurance policy.

General liability insurance covers other risks faced by marketing professional s as well. If someone slips and falls in your office or if you damage a client’s property at a photo shoot or trade show, your liability  for bodily injury or property damage could be covered.

There’s also the specialized equipment you use to do your work, which may include high-end computers and printers. Damage or theft of these things can be covered by a business owner’s policy.

A claim or lawsuit can be costly, even if you haven’t made a mistake. If you’re operating a business, you need to be prepared to be sued for just about anything, whether the suit has merit or not.  If you’re found to be liable, the cost of a judgment could put you out of business.  With professional liability, general liability and business owner’s insurance coverage, you will give yourself the peace of mind knowing you have taken the necessary steps to protect your business.