They troll the halls of power, ride in speeding elevators to the top floors of corporate influence, and mix among the elites everywhere – everywhere, it seems, except the Catholic church.
They are the grey-suited men and women who, since at least Watergate and the growth of high-speed mass media, have practiced the precision art called “crisis management.”
I was in the news business long enough to know more than a few of them, and know that what they taught to titans in trouble was the truth. It worked. And the people who did not heed their advice generally did so because the truth to was too hot to handle.
Crisis management in our age boils down to two simple Golden Rules:
- Get all the bad stuff out there.
- And get it out there as fast as you can.
It sounds counter-intuitive, against the basic human survival instinct. When something goes wrong, we circle the wagons, protect the clan, and wait for the danger to blow over. But crisis managers know that nothing blows over anymore. They understand that in modern times the truth will always come out – the best you can hope for is to control it and label it.