Mr. Murdoch, whose worldwide media empires were, we now know for certain, really in the business of fabricating and staging the news stories they reported.
In crisis, silence comes in many colors and in two varieties: intentional and cultural. All strategies of silence have the same outcome: toxic shock to the perpetrator. Silence strategies are ethical impediments to finding the truth.
From Chet’s first little note to me in 1975, complementing something I’d said that was quoted in a PRSA publication, to our last conversation in December of 2010, the power of his friendship, the insight of his thinking, and the profoundly pragmatic advice he so freely offered have guided my career and much of my personal life.
With more and more PR people becoming lawyers and working for law firms there seems to be a growing push for having outside spokespersons, especially attorneys when crisis situations occur.
Minneapolis radio station KDWB is the latest organization to feel the sting and power of victims angered by an inadequate apology. The radio station’s pain comes from loosing advertisers because the station still refuses to take adequate responsibility for its gaffe of broadcasting a parody of Hmong.
Let’s hope BP’s new victim compensation fund may be the standard for helping people in emergencies.
Those in charge intellectually understand how important communication is when bad things happen. The problem is that their emotions got in the way of making communication operational until it was too late.
Rag on Tony Hayward of BP if you like, but his crisis management shut down the oil leak, and established a $20 billion restoration and victim compensation fund was established to be independently administered and prepay claims.
While some in the media are getting around to discussing the practice of letting anonymous comments continue to appear in news outlet web page responses, a wonderful article in The Weekend WSJ, “The Feuding Fathers,” reminds us that anonymous sources go back to well before the founding of our Republic and have always been an important part of the national discussion.
If you’re wondering what might by happening inside the minds of BP employees right now, let me give you an insight by quoting an April 18, 1989 memo from then Exxon Chairman Lawrence G. Rawl to all employees.