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What Were They Thinking?: Crisis Communication: The Good, the Bad, and the Totally Clueless Hardcover – August 27, 2008
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"Steve Adubato is one of my favorites. He has a clear point of view and isn't afraid to share it, particularly when it comes to media issues and media coverage of important stories."
Top customer reviews
It blew me away.
He takes 22 well known public events, describes the sequence of events, and then dissects them for lessons learned. Through the good, the bad and clueless, his underlying theme is the necessity for a communications PLAN (even if it's an ad hoc one developed for the specific event). While his analysis of each case study is detailed, it is highly readable and Steve has a great, conversational style of presenting the lessons of each event. The chapter on Rudy Giuliani was particularly interesting, because he examined Giuliani's amazing performance during 9/11, and his uh, . . . less than stellar (yeah, let's go with that) communications skills at other points in his administration.
You don't have to be a Jon Corzine or Rudy Giuliani level public figure to take valuable lessons from this book.
In my 25+ years in the Information Technology business, I've had to deal with more than my share of crises -- from product quality to poor service delivery to plain old misunderstandings between a customer's business requirements and the capabilities of the products or services I provided. While it's certainly not on the scale of 9/11 or the MLB steroids scandal, it's a crisis. What I learned from Steve's book will better prepare me for these encounters in the future.
As a senior level volunteer in Civil Air Patrol, our missions will place us in the public spotlight during crises. Some of them will be "big", and we'll be background players (like Katrina or the Steve Fawcett search), but in more local situations, we may find ourselves as the primary spokesperson. Every member of Civil Air Patrol in a senior position (Commanders, Public Affairs, Public Information Officers, Project Directors, etc.) should read this book BEFORE they are on the spot in a crisis or high visibility public event.
Sorry for the long post. If you've read it to this point, I hope it was worth it. Bottom line, if you are a business or public service professional, YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!
Quite entertaining and easy to read. Each chapter can be digested as a seperate helping. Not just about corporations but discusses some big communication problems...think IMUS, Rudolph Guiliani and Dick Chaney!
Lot's to learn at the individual level and some good tips for what to do when things go wrong. Useful for Managers also not just the Big Boys.
I would have liked it if the opening comments wrapped to the end and we learned what the author did with his own crisis.
I would have liked more systematic formatting of points in the individual case studies. Each seemed to have been written without regard to how the others were presented.
I would have liked more progression of ideas. Instead, the lessons from each case study seem to be pretty much about the same.
But I liked this book. I liked reading about the crises in communication, many of which I was very familiar with, and some which were new to me. I liked the basic points being made. And I've passed this book on to my boss, because I think the message is worthwhile. Every business, agency, non-profit corporation, governmental entity, and public figure should have a crisis communication plan.