Reputation on Fire
Crisis is the ultimate reputation destroyer. Rarely does any company exit without a bruise. For those communications professionals at the heart of the crisis, the lessons learned take you to unimaginable places and arm you with irreplacable insights and experience. Jon Harmon, a former Ford corporate communications executive and someone I know, just released his aptly titled book, Feeding Frenzy, about the well-publicized Ford-Firestone crisis. Jon provides more information about the book on his blog as well. Jon tells the tale of the two companies — Ford and Firestone — colliding over deadly tire and safety issues that grabbed headlines and public attention for weeks on end. His minute to minute descriptions of the frenzy keeps you on the edge of your seat (if that is how you read). I remember hearing that the corporate communications department received 800 calls or more within minutes of the news breaking. Managing reputation when your house is on fire is one hell of a job.
For all of us anticipating or living through reputation recoveries and crises now, it is a must read.