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Damage Control: Why Everything You Know About Crisis Management is Wrong

How did Hewlett Packard survive their scandal, while Arthur Andersen was vindicated only after it was too late? How did Martha Stewart save her career and her company from charges, while Dan Rather was deposed? Why did Microsoft survive its anti-trust battle while Wal-Mart bashing has become a favorite American pastime?

There's one difference. Some companies and public figures pay a price by wishfully believing in make-nice spin and old-school reputation management. Others survive high-stakes scandals unscathed by applying the new rules of hit-back crisis management.

Called a "master of disaster" by the Chicago Tribune and "one of the PR industry's premier practitioners of 'crisis management'" by The Washington Post, Eric Dezenhall, and his colleague John Weber, have helped countless companies and politicians get out of trouble with a controversial strategy that breaks all the rules of crisis management. Their book DAMAGE CONTROL: Why Everything You Know About Crisis Management is Wrong (Portfolio; April 2007; $24.95) exposes the harsh reality of what it takes to come out alive and on top in today's era of scandal. With a shrewd and contrarian understanding of human nature, Dezenhall and Weber explain:

  • Why the Tylenol scare should NOT be upheld as a model of crisis management
  • Why crisis management shouldn't rely on spin or PR people
  • Why product recalls and public apologies rarely solve perception problems
  • Why playing nice only invites aggression, and why hitting hard and first is better
Dezenhall and Weber tell riveting stories of what worked or didn't work in the scandals that surrounded such companies as GE, Wendy's, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Audi, Exxon, Firestone, Tyco, and Merck, and such figures as Bill Clinton, OJ, and Rudy Giuliani.
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Damage Control