“How an organization responds to and communicates at a challenging time will always represent a fork in the road. Choosing the correct path can make all the difference.”
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In twenty years as a broadcast news reporter, IMG SVP T. J. Winick covered many scandals, including the B.P. oil spill, the Penn State football scandal, the Catholic priest molestation scandal, and the Toyota recall of 2009–2010. The biggest mistake he’s seen organizations make in their crisis communication is to try to “make it go away” by refusing to apologize, declining to comment, or going on the attack.
Instead, Winick argues for communicating ethically, with transparency, honesty, authenticity, and empathy. Handled correctly, the way you address an egregious violation of your standards can increase your reputation capital. It can remind people of what those standards are and how strongly you believe in them.
As the leader of Issues Management Group’s crisis practice, T.J. is regularly relied upon for his counsel on many delicate and high-profile issues including those involving litigation support, industrial accidents, DEI, executive misconduct, Title IX, leadership transition as well as a myriad of crises that have their origin on social media.