Power Words and Phrases have the magical ability to get or keep you out of trouble and to move you and others in positive, constructive directions. These words counteract and detoxify the sticky, corrosive, destructive power of negative words and concepts.
When you’re in trouble, attracting media attention is surprisingly easy – you just don’t want it to be the wrong kind! If an event causes the phone to ring and TV cameras to appear in your lobby, you need confidence that the people who happen to be at your worksite that day are prepared. Not a problem if everyone – executives, PR, managers, and employees – is familiar with Jim Lukaszewski’s sure-fire methods for handling the media.
Read The Manager’s Guide to Handling the Media in Crisis: Saying & Doing the Right Thing When It Matters Most now.
A few weeks ago, Wells Fargo managed to stumble, fumble and bungle themselves into a $185 million fine involving literally millions of bogus customer transactions. Amazingly, the current Wells Fargo settlement, however, keeps the same perpetrating executives, who created and facilitated this fiasco, particularly CEO John Stump, in charge of cleaning it up and preventing more problems from happening. This is a very bad joke on all Wells Fargo customers.
If you’re a Wells Fargo customer, employee or shareholder, this headline has to be THE question on your mind. . . Given Mr. Stumpf’s recent testimony before the Senate, it may be the only question for him. What we know for sure is that the massive Wells Fargo fraud/cover-up will continue.
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.