Why Your Brand Doesn’t Have To Fail (Even If Your CEO Does)

Posted by on June 7th, 2016

Recently I penned an article for Forbes.com looking at how two major CEO failings impacted their respective company’s corporate reputation.

The article took a deep dive look into the communications practices of Lending Club after the ousting of  Lending Club’s CEO, Renaud Laplanche and of J. Walter Thompson after its CEO, Gustavo Martinez, was let go for alleged racist and sexist behavior.

Here are a few lessons to be learned from both cases:

  1. Control the message.Don’t let it control you.  After announcing that Laplance stepped down, Lending Club has remained tight-lipped. The company hasn’t used its blog or social channels to reassure customers, nor has it publicly laid out a plan to regain Wall Street’s trust. Instead, executives have retreated. Since they aren’t talking but the media is still clearly writing, they are no longer in control of their own story.
  2. Show transparency.Both companies launched internal investigations instead of seeking expert, impartial external guidance. Understandably, internal investigations don’t bode well in the court of public opinion. They should have considered independent, third-party firms to handle the investigation.
  3. Do more than the bare minimum.In the face of a crisis, constituents just want a path forward. They want to see that the company is taking steps not to repeat its mistakes. In the case of JWT, months after the scandal broke, the agency launched a Diversity and Inclusion Council and hired a third party to review its policies and procedures. The question becomes is it too little too late?

To read the full article visit http://onforb.es/1RJvB05.