The foolproof guide to damage control from the "masters of disaster"
Whether you're a politician caught with his pants down, a publicly traded company accused of accounting improprieties, a family-owned restaurant with a lousy Yelp review or just the guy in the corner cubicle who inadvertently pushed "reply all," a crisis doesn't have to be the make-or-break moment of your career. For those of us that aren't natural spin doctors, it's hard to resist the impulse to cover your tracks, lie, or act like nothing happened. But resist you must!
In Masters of Disaster, Christopher Lehane and Mark Fabiani, reveal the magic formula you need to take control when it's your turn to be sucked into the vortex of the modern spin cycle. Covering the ten commandments of damage control, and based on their work for clients like Bill Clinton, Goldman Sachs and Hollywood studios, the authors outline the strategies that can make real time news alerts, Twitter trend lines and viral videos work for you rather against you. Full of both lively personal anecdotes and hard-knuckled straight talk, this is a must-read for anyone who wants to emerge with their reputation intact.
This timely survey of recent PR crises (which even draws on the July 2012 Louis Freeh report on Penn State) will likely stand as the go-to manual for the foreseeable future. Lehane and Fabiani are well positioned to distill the lessons of the baseball steroid scandal, Tiger Woods's infidelities, and Anthony Weiner's obscene tweets into clearly articulated principles of crisis responses (e.g., full disclosure; don't feed the fire); they served on the "rapid-response" team for the Clinton White House. With filmmaker Guttentag, Lehane and Fabiani contrast thoughtful and effective responses with ineffective ones, noting, for example, how Eliot Spitzer quickly rehabilitated himself after resigning as New York's governor for patronizing prostitutes, and how John Kerry's presidential campaign made a fatal error in not moving promptly to rebut the Swift Boat campaign. The authors also make plain how much things have changed in the age of Twitter, where negative stories can spread electronically around the world in a microsecond, necessitating contingency plans that can get the responses out as soon as possible.