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Crisis Management

For companies and individuals, reputation matters.  Reputations are often won or lost in times of crisis.  The Tylenol poisonings of the early 1980s offer a textbook example of how to handle a crisis successfully.  Johnson & Johnson pulled product from the shelves, developed tamper-resistant packaging, and saved a valuable brand.  The demise of accounting and auditing giant Arthur Andersen, on the other hand, is a prime example of how not to manage a crisis.  They circled the wagons, took no responsibility, allowed Enron to portray Arthur Andersen as the villain, and the company was destroyed.

In many organizations, crisis management is the exclusive province of lawyers, whose natural instinct is to protect the company against all liability by shutting down all public communication.  This is often the worst way to manage a crisis, because it cedes control of public perception to outside groups and feeds media sensationalism and regulator speculation.  Crisis management is a collaborative process, in which legal experts should play a critical, but not necessarily dominant, role.

Tony Lentini has extensive experience in crisis management, successfully dealing with fires, explosions, toxic gas leaks, employee and executive deaths, shootings, demonstrations, political attacks, high-profile lawsuits, hurricanes, mandatory evacuations and a host of other unfortunate events over a span of more than 30 years.
Lentini Creative Communications offers:

  • Advice and counsel to senior management on how to take control of a crisis as it unfolds;
  • Development of comprehensive crisis plans to provide a guide and a system for managing crises before they occur;
  • Creation of notification procedures to ensure that crisis situations are promptly reported up the chain of command so that management knows about the incident before reporters and regulators show up on your doorstep;
  • Preparation of effective media statements, management of press briefings and updates, development of key messages and identification of important target audiences, and follow-up analysis;

  • Crisis media training for company management, spokespeople and employees who may be the first line of contact with reporters and the public.
 
     
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