Monday, August 27, 2007

How To Talk When Times Are Tough

Steven Silvers notes that Mattel, Inc. and Countrywide Financial have given quite different examples of how to handle communications during a crisis:
Mattel faced its second product recall in two weeks, having to pull in some 19 million toys because of lead paint and other safety issues. The company’s response has been textbook crisis management: clear facts and continuous communications, broad outreach to all stakeholder groups, plenty of media access to the top executive. There’s even a dedicated web site on the recall that includes detailed information and a personal video message from CEO Bob Eckert.
Countrywide, on the other hand, faced the highest level of foreclosures and delinquencies in many years. How did it respond? The company “all but shuttered the doors at its Calabasas headquarters, offering scant public comment even as news turned worse and customers rushed to its bank branches to close their accounts,” reported the LA Times.



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