Weinergate’s 5 Communications Lessons for Nonprofits

Thanks to guest blogger Joan Stewart for sharing her timely advice.

What a week for learning about crisis communications! Here are five important lessons that Rep. Anthony Weiner taught nonprofit communicators. You’ve heard them all before but Weiner’s massive missteps clarify how important they really are:

  1. Never lie. Weiner thought he could fib his way through the crisis. But at almost every media interview, he got himself tangled up in his own lies and kept changing his story.
  2. Don’t criticize the messenger. Weiner called a reporter a “jackass” for asking a logical question, and that showed he was combative.
  3. Prepare talking points and stick to them. Weiner agreed to numerous media interviews but kept digging a deeper hole because he wasn’t prepared.
  4. When dumping bad news, tell it all, tell it first and tell it fast. The drip-drip-drip of bad news throughout the last two weeks helped this story grow long legs.
  5. Take full responsibility and apologize. Weiner claims “responsibility for my actions” but adamantly says he won’t resign. Expect politicians from both parties to pile on throughout the week and keep this story at the top of the news. A resignation would end the media frenzy.

Learn more here about how your organization should respond in a crisis.

P.S. Get more in-depth case studies, templates and tools, and guidance for nonprofit marketing success — all featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today.

Tips reprinted with permission from “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week” ezine. Subscribe here and receive free the handy cheat sheet “89 Reasons to Write a Press Release.” Follow Joan Stewart on Facebook and on Twitter.

Nancy Schwartz in Crisis Communications | 1 comment
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