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Damage Control Stat!

  November 10, 2017

We all make mistakes.  The real test of your mettle is how you respond afterward.  Do you admit your error and offer a heartfelt apology?  Do you play the blame game; accusing your accusers?  Do you avoid the media at all costs?  Do you roll out a multi-step crisis communication plan?   

Louis C.K. is the latest public figure accused of sexual misconduct.  While there is no excuse for this behavior, I do give him some credit for publicly admitting what he did and apologizing.   Compare this to how Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey have  handled the allegations against them.  

Driverless shuttle hits a roadblock in Las Vegas.

Talk about bad luck.  On the first day in service, a driverless shuttle in Las Vegas was hit by a truck.  Thankfully no one was injured.  The shuttle executive was quick to blame this one on the human driver.  The truck driver appears to be at fault but the accident raises a lot of questions about the safety of driverless shuttles.  For example, why didn't the horn sound and why didn't the shuttle back out of the way?  I think the spokesperson should have also made it clear that the company would fully investigate  to ensure this kind of accident can be avoided in the future.   Passenger safety should be the message here.

Garth Brooks speaks up about lip syncing.

Garth Brooks wasn't afraid to face the music after being caught lip syncing at the CMA Awards this week.  Fans expressed their disappointment on social media, but the country star quickly gave an honest explanation.  His voice was overworked and he didn't want to give a bad performance.  

Donut debacle in Canada.
This communication crisis may seem trivial but bad press like this can quickly impact a small business.  Turns out their donuts that were decorated to resemble Remembrance Day poppies did not benefit veterans.  Social media hit back.  The owner has now responded, giving the profits to a veterans group.

No individual or business (large or small) is immune from the type of mistakes that garner media attention.  The communication crisis may start on social media and then get picked up by traditional media outlets.  The clock is ticking and reputations are at stake.  The "no comment" response is rarely the right one.  In our 24/7/viral media environment, the public expects a response.  If your problem is a legal one, of course your lawyer will offer advice, but the buck really does stop at you.




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