Thursday, July 12, 2012

So Far So Good At Penn State

While the Special Investigative Report was "scathing" as so many pundits dubbed it, the University's response was exceptional -- particularly in comparison to everything they did wrong until today.

The three speakers, representing the Penn State Board and Administration, said everything I would have recommended.

They took responsibility, they apologized for past mistakes and pledged to make changes to prevent another disaster like the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

The only thing I would have recommended they do different was to NOT take questions.

In delicate and legally charged environments like this one, the Institute for Crisis Management frequently suggests the client identify everything that is possible to talk about -- talk about it up front and then thank the media and leave.

We start out by making a list of every possible question reporters may ask.  Identify the ones we can answer, and make notes accordingly.  Then figure out which ones we cannot answer and prepare an explanation for why not -- we don't know, yet; that is a question better left to answer in the court of law, rather than in the court of public opinion;  etc.

Then advise the media  of your news event and tell them up front you're gonna tell them everything you can and as a result there will be no need to take questions.

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