Most of my career has been in or around the C Suite, which has given me the chance to observe dozens of different types of consultants and advisors and hundreds, literally hundreds, of public relations practitioners and attorneys, all giving advice.
Once a crisis occurs, the bloviating begins, mostly by PR people. Most of these uninformed comments leave the erroneous impression that if you do maybe three things right, quickly, the problem is over before it begins. It's sort of like when you were a kid, seeing a show where people were shot for the first time, and saying, “Why didn’t they just quickly jump out of the way the moment they heard gun fire?” The moment you know it’s a crisis, you have, in fact, been shot.
On March 24, 2016, Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau released a YouTube announcement
about police treatment of citizens as County Attorney Mike Freeman releases his decision
on how to proceed with the potential indictment of two police officers. If the city, including its police force, wants peace in the community, it has to wage peace in the community at every opportunity. Here is one way.
Just for a minute, pretend you’re five years old, your mom is sharing a very charming, perhaps often repeated piece of motherly advice:
“Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words will never hurt you.”
OK, OK. You can come back now. The truth is, that after age five, this charming advice becomes a lie and remains a lie for the rest of your life. Some words and behaviors can actually terrorize.
I grew up in a household where we had an extraordinary interest in words. As a way of introducing that interest to you, here are are a few Lukaszewski-isms; words I’ve invented where there seem to be an inadequate supply of existing words to suffice. Here is this month’s batch.
Attorneys, often by the score, will be involved in this crisis situation. What I’ll describe and suggest in this note is sensible, constructive, actually quite helpful, and will lead to far more prompt and appropriate resolution of the controversies, confrontations, contention and the victimization crisis situations will likely generate.
If you have been following the Norwood Teague story, you have surely read the 8/11/15 piece by the Star Tribune reporter who covers University of Minnesota athletics that revealed that she had been an ongoing Teague target dating back to December 13, 2013.
My perspective is that job one has to be the restoration of the relationship between police leadership and the community. Restoration of these more important relationships will only occur when public confidence in police leadership is rebuilt and restored.
Sometimes the only way to help organizations avoid embarrassment, humiliating visibility, enormous litigation, and just plain stupidity is to illustrate dramatically the pattern of behaviors and attitudes that lead to catastrophic reputational trouble.
You are looking at the real environment of internal communication. The percentages indicate the influence of a given executive level or source of information on individuals at their desk or workstation.