Friday, January 9, 2009


When it's too late to save face

We saw it when the Chrysler and General Motors CEOs flew to Washington on their private planes. Now, we're seeing it with Rod Blagojevich, Governor of Illinois. What is "it"? A case of a public relations nightmare. Even if the two auto executives decided to carpool on their subsequent trips to Washington, the damage was already done. The same can be said about Blagojevich.

Earlier today, the Illinois House of Representatives unanimously voted to impeach Mr. Blagojevich after allegations that he tried to sell the Senator seat left vacated when Barack Obama was elected. I'm no political expert, nor do I claim to know all the facts surrounding this accusation. However, from what I do know, it seems pretty obvious that ample evidence exists proving these accusations to be true.

I applaud Mr. Blagojevich's attempt to prove himself innocent, but when there is concrete evidence proving otherwise, a proper crisis communication plan needs to be put in place immediately. This includes admitting wrong doing, apologizing and immediately resigning. Instead, Blagojevich 's action has caused his image to be permanently tarnished. You can argue that by immediately admitting wrong doing would have tarnished his image, I think that it would have been less severe than how the public currently feels. People make mistakes and come back from it (i.e. Bill Clinton). Blagojevich doesn't have a future career in any public sector, but for the sake of his family, he should have followed basic public relations practice when it comes to crisis communication.

I think 2009 will bring plenty more public scandals, it'll be interesting to see how people handle these situations. An effective crisis communications plan is essential for companies and individuals to maintain what little image will be left.

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what about larry craig. he handled that terribly. were going to see a lot of scandals in 2009
Very true. Another example of someone not handling a crisis properly. Had Mr. Craig admitted wrong doing instead of vehemently denying, maybe his image would have been saved?

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