Contrarian, in-your-face advice from two masters of crisis management
Much of the conventional wisdom about damage control and crisis PR is self-serving, self- congratulatory, self-deceivingand flat out wrong. And no one knows it better than Eric Dezenhall and John Weber, who have helped countless companies, politicians, and celebrities get out of various kinds of trouble.
If youre facing a lawsuit, a sex scandal, a defective product, or allegations of insider trading, other PR experts will tell you to stay positive, get your message out, and everything will be just fine. But happy talk doesnt help much during a real crisis, and its easy to lose sight of your real priorities. In a trial, for instance, you might want the whole world to think youre a wonderful person, but all that matters is whether twelve jurors think youre guilty.
Dezenhall and Weber are especially dismayed by flacks who compare every problem to the famous Tylenol/cyanide episode of 1982supposedly proof that making nice, admitting fault, and taking immediate corrective action is all you need to do. In reality, Tylenols situation was nothing like the typical corporate crisis.
The authors share many powerful lessons, including:
the difference between a nuisance, a problem, and a crisis
when you cant get them to like you, get them not to attack you
its not about facts; its about symbols
the best case studies are the ones youll never hear about
good deeds wont position you out of the line of fire
Damage Control will reveal what works, what doesnt, and how to really survive a career- threatening situation. It will be the definitive book on this subject for years to come.