The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

When will they ever learn?

Photo of Lanny Davis
Lanny Davis
Former Special Counsel to President Clinton

The result has been damage not only to Carnival’s brand and business — reportedly 12 Carnival cruise ships have been canceled in the aftermath of the Gulf incident — but to the rest of the cruise industry, which could be damaged by this kind of ostrich-like crisis management by Carnival.

To be clear, effective crisis management is not just about minimizing damage to a politician’s reputation or to a company’s brand or share values when the bad news event is occurring. It is about a more transcendent value, respect — respect for voters, respect for consumers and customers, respect for shareholders.

A company or a politician that chooses the “limited modified hangout” is disrespecting the public and its customers/voters. Such a strategy seems to reflect the attitude conveyed by Jack Nicholson in the famous climactic trial scene in the movie, “A Few Good Men” — “You can’t handle the truth!”

Oh yes we can.

White Houses, politicians and businesses alike would do well to remember this mantra: “Tell it all, tell it early, tell it yourself.”

Lanny Davis, a Washington attorney and principal in the firm of Lanny J. Davis & Associates, specializing in legal crisis management and dispute resolution, served as President Clinton’s special counsel from 1996-98 and as a member of President Bush’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board from 2006-07. He currently serves as special counsel to Dilworth Paxson and is the author of the forthcoming book, Crisis Tales: Five Rules for Coping With Crises in Business, Politics, and Life, to be published by Simon & Schuster in March.