PROmotion

Sustainability (and such)

Tiger, Toyota, and relevance

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven, Ph.D. on February 27, 2010

A student recently asked why our class was spending so much time on these particular case studies; after all, do I really think THEY would encounter such crises?

Well, yes.  We may not face the woes (or have the deep pockets) of billion-dollar industries, but we’re one misstep away from having to tell our story, possibly apologize, and plan for a better future.  If we walk in this world, we are constantly deciding about issues of transparency and accountability, don’t you think?  So…why NOT plan for our credibility and reputation?

Three recent  tweets and posts include:  This from a New York corporate crisis and PR commentator in the Huffington Post <—my favorite.  “With bad news, the best move is to own up and apologize, the sooner the better,” says this business blogger.  “Think: would you rather be post-Watergate Nixon or post-sex scandal David Letterman? Only one of them was forthright, self-deprecating, honest and contrite about it.”

Whether Tiger restores his brand or becomes Barry Bonds has yet to be seen.  But his road to recovery — whether it’s on Oprah’s chair or out on a boat with buddies — is food for thought.  Sometimes just saying “I’m sorry” as soon as you realize your blunder goes a long way.  And that’s why we study such current cases,  to find a common language and also possibly help us determine our own path.

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