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Dale Weiss Quoted in the Washington Business Journal About Handling Crisis Situations

In the August 26, 2016 issue of the Washington Business Journal, CommCore SVP Dale Weiss discusses possible crisis situation and how to handle them.

Dale Weiss CommCoreWhat would you do?

On Target’s data breach…

Weiss: “It’s a tricky balancing act between lawyers and communicators in the middle of a crisis. While it’s the lawyer’s job to protect the organization in the court of law, it’s often the court of public opinion that can have the most influence. Fast outreach to internal and external stakeholders is essential during the beginning stages, even if the information is limited. Perceived transparency can go a long way to help repair reputation down the road. This can be accomplished by a variety of outbound communications channels — Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Video is a simple and effective response tool. Target could have taken a page from the Wal-Mart playbook. On Aug. 12, 2012, Wal-Mart’s head of communications rolled out a video response on its YouTube channel within hours after a New York Times article discussing an allegation of a foreign corrupt practices investigation.

On Hillary Clinton‘s email server…

Weiss:“The email server controversy is an example of a ‘chronic’ crisis, defined as a lingering issue. It’s not unlike the BP Gulf oil spill. It was difficult to manage the message and work to restore reputation as long as the image of the well spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico was everywhere. The email server issue is similar because the controversy won’t go away, in part because of the campaign’s perceived silence on the issue. In our experience, frequent and transparent communications is an important tactic during this type of crisis. Secretary Clinton’s campaign has not conducted an open press conference in more than 200 days — as of Aug. 4. Her willingness to face tough questions head-on would go a long way to gain respect from supporters and detractors.”

On Donald Trump‘s controversial comments…

Weiss:“When advising clients during a crisis, we discuss the 3 Rs: Repair (fix the immediate problem), Reassess (look at procedures and checklists), Reputation (where do you want to be down the road). Like most candidates, Mr. Trump’s goal is to win the election. Due to the unique nature of his personality and campaign, he is able to say and do things that would sink most other campaigns. Therefore, only the third ‘R’ (Reputation) comes into play. Clearly the message, despite the distractions and controversies, resonates with supporters. The frequency with which he communicates and his willingness to discuss most anything tend to dilute the controversies, which then become yesterday’s news. Ultimately, the true measure of his success will be Election Day.”

Read the entire article here.