From Publishers Weekly
Managing potentially damaging business news has become trickier in today's fast-paced television and Internet news environment. Cohn, who runs her own public relations firm specializing in crisis management, offers solid advice on avoiding the PR sins that can sink a company. Among the most common mistakesAoften made by experienced executivesAare believing that disaster will never strike, shifting blame and responding "no comment" when confronted with a difficult question. Drawing on familiar news events to prove her points, Cohn shows how, for example, personal problems can become company problems. When chief executive Gary Wendt battled his wife in a bitter divorce, his employer, GE Capital, was scrutinized in the media. William Agee's career at Bendix was hurt when his affair with associate Mary Cunningham was made public. In another telling example, she recounts how a well-known business reporter once stopped an executive in the hall to ask for directions to an office and, when the man quickly hurried away muttering that he had no comment, was spurred to dig for a story. While Cohn presents some useful pointers on sidestepping the "seven deadly sins" of PR crisis management, her book would have been stronger if she had expanded and systematized her recommendations instead of offering only brief nuggets of advice. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
There is something about the media (and, perhaps, the public) that enjoys the sight of a company or leader in disgrace or in disfavor. Such are the events that well-trained, well-seasoned public-relations practitioners feed on, including one Robin Cohn. To her credit, she does address the critical importance of planning a well-thought-out strategy before addressing a crisis. Yet all of her stories, even chapter titles, are intended for quick sound bites; the Motorola cell phone's reputed link to cancer is one of dozens of anecdotes. A few helpful exercises here and there help readers focus on elements that can trigger or presage crises--corporate values, for one. Her advice, on the whole, is sound, but it's difficult to figure out Cohn's audience . . and her intentions. Barbara JacobsCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved