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Crisis Communication: Too little, too late for Michigan's governor

By Suzanne Spurgeon  January 20, 2016

It took months, but Michigan's governor is taking some responsibility for the water disaster in Flint, Michigan.  He now says the buck stops with him.  The first rule of Crisis Communication is to be pro-active and not wait until the crisis fully engulfs you to take meaningful action.  There are calls for Governor Snyder to resign and federal and state investigations have been launched.  I don't know who is advising him, but he clearly waited far too long to apologize.  

The Governor's mea copa

The growing outrage by residents, coupled with an onslaught of media attention may have forced the governor's hand. The mayor who was at the helm in Flint when the toxic water concerns were first raised, is gone. He was defeated by Karen Weaver who made the water crisis a major campaign issue. 

When a crisis of this magnitude occurs in the corporate world, it's not uncommon for the CEO to resign--giving the company a chance to start fresh as it tries to regain customer and shareholder confidence.  Hopefully Mayor Weaver is that fresh start for Flint. The city remains under control of a state oversight board though.

At some point the national media will move on, just as it always does.  We saw that after Hurricane Katrina.








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