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Speed and deftness matter in a crisis

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Here’s the wrong way to handle a crisis:

Sony executives let a bad situation fester after it distributed a copy-protection line of CDs in 2005 that contained rootkit software, which self-installs on computers and lets hackers access the systems.

Sony ignored it, and Sony BMG’s president of global digital business told a U.S. news outlet that “Most people don’t even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?” Lawsuits followed.

Here’s the right way: In 2003, American Eagle Outfitters introduced flip-flops in the United States and Canada that depicted the sacred Hindu deity Ganesha on its insole. This caused outrage in the Indian community across North America.

Hindu activists launched a fiery electronic campaign. Faced with mounting anger, the manufacturer withdrew the product and issued an apology. The activists, in turn, thanked the company for its “positive and immediate response.”

— Adapted from Strategic Corporate Commu­nica­tion, Paul A. Argenti, McGraw-Hill.

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