The weight of public communication on public officials is enormous compared to the communication requirements in private industry, even in the non-profit sector. It would appear America is entering an era of extraordinary change in the relationship of government to people. Changes and eliminations in programs and services, the handling of public crises in general, are gaining more scrutiny from more opinionated sources.
The highest priority, greatest threat and most crucial aspect of managing crises is the victim dimension. Victims provide the explosive emotional drive that results in high visibility, high liability and high anxiety. The reality is most organizations, hospitals, schools and universities do a sloppy, insensitive or timid job of dealing with victims. This can be very costly to your reputation.
Obtaining forgiveness is a process. The power of that process is diluted when it appears obvious that the perpetrator has no particular concept of or organized intention to apologize.
Well, we have a whole bunch of companies, laudably, it would appear, withdrawing their advertising from the Fox News O’Reilly Factor program which is currently experiencing a substantial scandal involving more sexual harassment charges against the show’s star, Bill O’Reilly. Fox News’ parent company has already paid five accusers $13 million to settle these grievances before any charges or allegations could be filed.
The five most powerful positive words/phrases in any language or culture are…
Probably the most important lesson I ever learned, years ago, about urgent and crisis situations was that whatever the nature of problem, it very likely had happened to someone else before it has or would happen to me.
This is one of my favorite tools for discussing serious problems with management. It is simply a side-by-side comparison of the assumptions we make about a given situation, and the realities of that situation in the words of victims, employees, critics and those indirectly affected.
On March 29, Samsung Electronics Co. will unveil its new Galaxy S8 phone. When you release a new product, you want to show off its cool new features. But Samsung’s launch stands to be overshadowed by not one but two reputational fires the company is fighting simultaneously.
One thing about crisis management and leadership in difficult situations has remained the same throughout my career and that is the glacial speed at which litigation unfolds. Understand that my clients are always defendants (perpetrators). In today’s Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and “the new social media app being introduced next week” age, there are dramatic new pressures on lawyers, defendants and perpetrators to get more explained and done faster.
Wells Fargo took another meaningless step to avoiding their clear responsibility to clean up the mess they created, involving hundreds of thousands (perhaps even more now) of their customers. They separated the chairman and CEO posts, a gesture which is simply beyond understanding. It reflects again, their misguided focus on fixing operations without paying the price of fraud, deceit and despicable behavior toward their customers.