Crisis Counsel: Navigating Legal and Communication Conflict

$74.99

NOW AVAILABLE!

Crisis Counsel: Navigating Legal and Communication Conflict
By Tony Jaques

The book will help you to:

  • Balance reputation protection and legal obligation during a crisis.
  • Know why and how to apologize without increasing liability.
  • Weigh legal and communications advice when a crisis strikes.
  • Learn from original research which lets lawyers and communicators speak in their own words.
  • Draw practical everyday lessons from real-world examples of conflict between lawyers and communicators.
  • Navigate the legal and communication challenges of dealing with the media in a crisis.
  • Motivate lawyers and communicators to work better together.
  • Identify and avoid crucial areas of potential conflict from selected crisis case studies.
  • Understand the essential difference between corporate responsibility and legal liability.
  • Make decisions and do the right thing to protect your organization.

This book is designed to provide hands-on, practical guidance for senior executives, lawyers and public relations professionals to navigate crises and to balance conflicting advice from lawyers and communication professionals while promoting open communication and protecting legal liability.

The book includes a wide variety of global case studies and examples while analyzing how legal and communications advice was managed and the impact on reputation. Crisis Counsel also includes interviews with four of the leading global experts on crisis management and the conclusions of a focused, unique global survey of senior lawyers.

PDF eBOOK: CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW ON GOOGLE PLAY

 

Description

NOW AVAILABLE!

Crisis Counsel: Navigating Legal and Communication Conflict
By Tony Jaques, Ph.D.

Crisis Counsel: Navigating Legal and Communication Conflict, by Tony Jaques, Ph.D. is a new book to be released later this year by Rothstein Publishing .

This book is designed to provide hands-on, practical guidance for senior executives, lawyers and public relations professionals to navigate crises and to balance conflicting advice from lawyers and communication professionals while promoting open communication and protecting legal liability.

The book includes a wide variety of global case studies and examples while analyzing how legal and communications advice was managed and the impact on reputation. Crisis Counsel also includes interviews with four of the leading global experts on crisis management and the conclusions of a focused, unique global survey of senior lawyers.

Tony Jaques is a Melbourne-based consultant and author of three other books on issue and crisis management.

August, 2020. 390+/- pages. Comprehensive index.

Print ISBN – 978-1-944480-65-3

EPUB ISBN – 978-1-944480-66-0

WEB PDF ISBN – 978-1-944480-67-7

 

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE VIA GOOGLE BOOKS

PDF eBOOK: CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW ON GOOGLE PLAY

 


“Crisis Counsel confirms Tony Jacques position as one of the industry’s foremost experts on issues and crisis management. In addressing the complex interactions between legal and communication crisis responses Dr Jacques provides riveting case studies and practical advice. It highlights the financial and reputational risks of not effectively integrating communications and legal counsel. It should be on every communications practitioner’s reading list and companies should insist their in house and external legal counsellors read it.”

Noel Turnbull

Former Chair of Turnbull Porter Novelli

Adjunct Professor, RMIT University

 


“Senior managers who find themselves in the C-suite for the first time, Crisis Counsel should be mandatory reading. Such specific legal and communications provocations are not covered in university management courses, and the introduction is replete with illuminating case studies and key takeaways.

“The author provides sage advice for Chief Executives who must ultimately make a decision based upon what they think is the right thing to do; often under pressure.   Crisis team leaders and team members will find this book equally of value, as the more you know about it, the better you and the team will be.”

Jim Truscott

Director, Jim Truscott & Associates Pty Ltd

Perth, Australia


“For far too long, the role of lawyers in crisis management has been neglected. If discussed at all, it is often in negative terms. Tony Jaques adjusts this picture in masterly, yet eminently readable terms. His comprehensive discussion of apology in crisis management is likely to be a go-to source for years to come. This is a welcome book for anyone interested in how crisis-confronted corporations (and other organizations, too) can navigate the tricky legal waters of communicating under fire. For university teachers like me, it’s a rich source of well-researched case studies. A gem!”

Chris Galloway, PhD

Head of Pubic Relations

Massey University of New Zealand

 

 

 

Additional information

Weight 2 lbs

Dr. Tony Jaques has spent much of his working life describing, researching and writing about crisis management, and helping to manage ton-jaques-rothstein-publishingcrises in government and in corporations.

As a government ministerial advisor, corporate executive and business consultant he has established an international reputation as an authority on issue and crisis management and risk communication.

In his role as Asia-Pacific Issue and Crisis Manager for The Dow Chemical Company for more than 20 years he was responsible for implementing local issue, crisis and community outreach programs throughout the region and had a hands-on role in managing a number of high-profile crises.

He continues to serve as a thought leader in those areas with new projects to educate other fellow professionals as a conference speaker.

Dr. Jaques is a New Zealander who now lives in Australia, where he runs his own consultancy and lectures post-graduate students at two universities. At an earlier stage of his career he was a journalist in New Zealand and London, and later worked as a management strategic advisor and speechwriter.

He has written very extensively about issue and crisis management.in academic and business publications around the world, and is the author of three previous books in the field – Don’t Just Stand There: the Do-it Plan for Effective Issue Management (2000);  Issue and crisis Management: Exploring issues, crises, risk and reputation (2014); and Crisis Proofing: How to save your company from disaster (2016). He is also the author of the definitive, three-volume Dictionary of Battles and Sieges (2006)

Dr. Jaques holds a doctoral degree from RMIT University (Melbourne).

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT CRISIS COUNSEL iii
DEDICATION vi
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vi
FOREWORD BY BOB HEATH vii
FOREWORD #2 xi
CONTENTS xv
INTRODUCTION: MANAGING CONFLICTING ADVICE, AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT 1
The book will help you to: 3
Structure 11
Key Takeaways 15
CHAPTER ONE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: WHO DOES WHAT IN A CRISIS? 17
This chapter will help you to: 18
The Nature of Crises 20
Avoiding the Legal Response Syndrome 22
The Role of Lawyers 26
The Role of Lawyers in a Crisis 28
The Role of Communicators 31
The Role of Communicators in a Crisis 33
So What’s Different? 36
The Decision Maker 40
How to get lawyers and communicators working together in a crisis 42
Recognizing the Crisis 43
A View from the Executive Suite 46
Key Takeaways 48
Questions for Discussion 48
CHAPTER TWO LAWYERS’ INSIGHTS 49
This chapter will help you to: 50
Where advice conflicts 51
The Risk of Speed 53
Who should be in charge? 54
Relationships and working better together 56
Perceptions of value 58
Summary of findings 62
Key Takeaways 63
Questions for Discussion 63
CHAPTER THREE CASES: PRODUCT CRISES AND WHY THEY HURT 65
This chapter will help you to: 66
The Boeing 737 MAX Disasters 70
Samsung Gets Hot 76
Missing the Joke 81
Negative Online Reviews 83
The Pentium Chip Recall 86
Doing Business in China 88
A Mouthful of Mouse 95
Chipping Away at Reputation 97
Just Cruisin’ Along 99
Key Takeaways 104
Questions for Discussion 104
CHAPTER FOUR WHY SHOULD I APOLOGIZE? 105
This chapter will help you to: 106
What can go wrong 107
Reasons for your organization to apologize 110
When Lack of Apology Becomes the News 110
Sometimes it’s Just too Late 114
Apologizing to Reduce Liability 120
But I’ve Done Nothing Wrong! 123
The Political Apology 126
Governments 127
Organizations 129
Companies 130
Key Takeaways 132
Questions for Discussion 132
CHAPTER FIVE HOW TO APOLOGIZE 133
This chapter will help you to: 134
A Job Well Done 140
The Great Chicken Disaster 144
Eight basic steps towards an effective apology 147
How Not to Do It 154
Words and phrases to avoid in an effective apology 159
Key Takeaways 163
Questions for Discussion 163
CHAPTER SIX CASE STUDIES: PATENTLY OBVIOUS RISK 165
This chapter will help you to: 166
Backcountry Claims a Natural Word 170
Fast Food Fiascos 175
Taking it Up to the Big Boys 180
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? 183
The Value of a Sense of Humor 186
Taking on a Charity Icon 188
Key Takeaways 197
Questions for Discussion 197
CHAPTER SEVEN DEALING WITH THE MEDIA 199
This chapter will help you to: 200
When it All Goes Wrong 203
Try Humor 206
The Role of Spokesperson 208
Who should be the crisis spokesperson? 211
Speaking with one voice 214
Where to Go? 216
Getting Ready to Speak 220
What to Say… and Not Say 223
Dos and Don’ts of Crisis Communication 223
Five Initial Steps for Effective Crisis Communication 227
How to Make No Comment 228
Key Takeaways 231
Questions for Discussion 232
CHAPTER EIGHT DOING WHAT’S RIGHT – LIABILITY VERSUS RESPONSIBILITY 233
This chapter will help you to: 234
Stepping Up to Do What’s Right 237
San Ysidro Massacre 243
The Ashland Oil Spill 246
The Huntington Beach Disaster 252
A contrast in responses to a major oil spill 256
Setting the Tone 257
Apologizing Without Admitting Liability 262
Key Takeaways 267
Questions for Discussion 268
CHAPTER NINE MARATHON CASES: IN FOR THE LONG HAUL 269
This chapter will help you to: 270
Litigation by Exhaustion 275
When Public Health and Profits Collide 279
McDonald’s and the Decision to Sue 283
A Canadian Soap Opera 289
Key Takeaways 293
Questions for Discussion 293
CHAPTER TEN TALKING TO GLOBAL EXPERTS 295
This chapter will help you to: 295
Who are the experts? 296
Is it Real? 297
The Rise of Social Media 299
Reputation and the Two Courts 301
How to Persuade the CEO 303
Who Leads? 306
How to Improve 309
Key Takeaways 313
Questions for Discussion 313
Biographies of the Four International Crisis Experts 314
Jonathan Bernstein 314
Deon Binneman 314
Jonathan Hemus 314
Richard Levick 315
CHAPTER ELEVEN WHAT TO DO NOW 317
The chapter will help you to: 318
CEO Reputation 319
Trust and Ethical Behavior 320
Social Media Presence 324
The Role of Leadership 328
12 Tips to Get the Most from Your Crisis Simulation 338
Where to Start? 339
Key Takeaways 341
Questions for Discussion 341
CHAPTER TWELVE LOOKING FORWARD – A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE 343
Professionalization of communication 344
Functional Encroachment 346
What’s to Come? 348
INDEX 351
ABOUT THE AUTHOR 361

Tony Jaques is the right person to provide Crisis Counsel: Navigating Legal and Communication Conflicts. The first evidence to support that claim comes early in the book when he compares the assessment provided by General Counsel and by the Communications Director following an explosion and chemical release at a manufacturing facility. Experienced readers will find the contrasting advice of these two archetypical individuals to be familiar. Readers who are novices in crisis response must mark that dramatic moment. It is a tug-of-war between two disciplines whose training and experience confront management with a difficult choice. Whose advice to follow? Is the best advice to cautiously say little and challenge others to force the company to defend itself, a litigation model? Or should the company speak out to demonstrate that it cares and to protect its reputation, a mitigation model?

Which advice should the management team adopt? Those who encounter such options might recall US President Harry Truman’s response to economists’ advice which often was, on the one hand, and on the other. He said he wanted a one-handed economist.

Readers will appreciate Jaques’ selection of cases. Crisis communication is one of the most researched aspects of the public relations discipline today. A veteran reader quickly realizes that what a lot of research uses as its basis is at best a bad news day that will be gone tomorrow, leaving no tracks in the sand. Jaques makes the point that a true crisis can have lasting reputational and financial damage. It can pose response choices, none of which lead to optimal answers. Now, this is a serious topic!

Jaques’ valued advice draws on his years of work with issues management. It helps him cut to the heart of threats. It helps him point out that crises are unsettled matters. How legal counsel and communication can work together to help such matters be settled to the satisfaction of various contexts, courts of law or public scrutiny.

Jaques’ perspective on this topic evolves slowly, methodically. That helps readers to understand the fair-minded teamwork required for examining and addressing the many aspects of a crisis. Listing the array of crises which he features also allows other voices at the management table to come through. He notes that discipline specialists such as environmental engineers or technology experts provide insights and substance which move each crisis beyond being merely a “legal” crisis.

It takes a team to manage a company’s response to a crisis. The challenge is to make the most of the expertise needed and available. Also, it is important to understand the presumptions that underpin professionals’ training. Thus, team management needs to recognize collective expertise rather than presuming that a lawyer should lead crisis management. Quick response teams typically have at least a communications specialist and an operational/technical specialist, but almost never a legal specialist.

A benefit of this book, especially for junior practitioners, legal counsel, or students, is the presentation of the roles communicators play in a crisis. The more the crisis team members know about each other’s’ specialization, the better collaboration can occur. It can reduce stereotyped comments, such as telling the communications director “to make it go away.” “Communication” is not a magic bullet.

Jaques emphasizes how both general counsel and communications directors need to know each other’s roles, procedures and expertise. The more they know about, respect, and like one another before a crisis the better their teamwork will be. As he says, “collaboration and mutual respect emerged as strong themes.”

The cases featured do an excellent job of providing concrete illustration of Jaques’ advice. Each offers, as well, ample information about the timeframe differences between a “communication” response and a “legal” response to crisis. The public communication phase can last a few days and might recur as legal events recur. In fact, it is often the case that communication about a legal event, a trial or ruling, may require the presentation of historical detail so that individuals who have not monitored or even known about the crisis can put a trial or ruling into context.

The cases emphasize the need for “leadership,” which includes helping to set agendas of various kinds. Leaders help set the tone of crisis response, often more inadvertent and less strategic than they might wish. Tone can be conciliating or provocative. Tone has legal as well as reputational implications. Tone can be street friendly or laden with legal jargon; both suggest the character of the company and its leaders.

Chapter 4 takes up the timeless topic of apology. Sorry, did I state that well? People in general, and some cultures more so than others, use apology routinely, ritualistically, even indifferently. As a rhetorical device, it is as ancient as the Golden Age of Greece, rhetorical apologia. Today, in social media, it can be expressed by emoji. Jaques poses both a reputational cost argument as well as common decency theme to guide the use of apology. I recommend the reader look at his “reasons for your organization to apologize” and ponder them until they become top of mind. Apology is best when it is mindful. It may be one element of crisis response, not the “only” element. But other elements may fail without a heartfelt and appropriate apology.

Throughout this book, and especially relevant to crisis, the topic of perception is persistent. Lots of do’s and don’ts of media relations come down to strategies for influencing perception. It has a legal angle, as well as a communications one. Jaques’ core advice is this: “perception of an organization during a crisis often has a far greater impact on reputation and recovery than the crisis itself.” Reading that statement on a hot June day in Central Texas, I was reminded of a senior practitioner at a major utility company who contracted a misting company to cool down customers who were patiently waiting outside for rebates. The accompanying headline was: “Utility company hoses customers.” Jaques extols the virtue of using “horror” stories to moderate executives who want to “meet the press.” He emphasizes that what is said, how it is said, and where it is said counts, for better or worse. It may require, he adds, that spokespersons need the “capacity to communicate empathy as well as authority.” On this matter, and many more, Jaques’ rich reservoir of cases, lines, examples, and illustrations help fix key points into readers’ minds. However good a spokesperson is, the total effort requires teamwork.

Jaques reasons that leaders need to know when and how to apologize. To that end, Jaques recognizes the strategic advantage of critically, reflectively observing mistakes, but also notes the importance of recognizing “what was done well.”

The chapter on names, logos, and other identifiers of products and companies raises interesting points. Especially with the Internet and in a world full of prats and pranksters, names have become a game. Again, commonsense is the call to arms. And, although not discussed, anyone familiar with such topics understands why in the USA pharmaceutical products have computer generated names (like passwords). I can’t imagine how a physician ever keeps track of ailment, name, and effects of such products. Advice in this chapter is not for the faint at heart.

This book offers sound information and advice which can be consumed quickly. But, it also can be consumed slowly. It is provocative. Quick reading can help bring a novice up to speed, but slow reading with a fair amount of pondering involved gives the wisdom of years in the trenches time to penetrate the reader’s judgment. Developing informed and ethical commonsense can be a slow and thoughtful process. The chapters are nicely organized with helpful markers to guide readers to get the most from each chapter. The closing questions are worth pondering, but so are other parts of each chapter.

I have known Tony Jaques for nearly two decades. I read his online commentary and have read other of his publications. I can hear his voice, and even know when his wit is adding an edge to his commentary or it is softening the blow. Reading his book reminds me of what I read not too long ago about aging: Young people remember names, dates, and myriad other facts; older people have to rely on wisdom gained by experience. Wisdom is more than knowing; it is recognizing the value of what one knows, and why it makes a difference.

Chapter 8 brings the discussion of the previous chapters into focus and sets the scope and purpose of the chapters that follow by emphasizing the leadership need to do what’s right: the balance of liability versus responsibility. Cases, quotations, best practices, and commonsense blossom into a coherent philosophy for responding to crisis in a collaborative manner. Jaques likes to provoke inciteful pondering by asking questions such as “did the company do the right thing?”

This book impresses upon novices and reminds “experts” that crisis response demands preparation, planning, and collaborative response. Given the multidimensionality of crisis, response also needs to be multidimensional. Apropos to the theme of the book, and foretelling a successful career, Tony Jaques emphasizes the need for leadership navigation: “lawyers and communicators need to respect each other’s expertise and need to work better together in the interests of the whole organization.”

Dr. Robert Heath

Emeritus Professor of Communication

University of Houston

Jack J. Valenti School of Communication

Houston, Texas  USA

July, 2020


“Crisis Counsel confirms Tony Jacques position as one of the industry’s foremost experts on issues and crisis management. In addressing the complex interactions between legal and communication crisis responses Dr Jacques provides riveting case studies and practical advice. It highlights the financial and reputational risks of not effectively integrating communications and legal counsel. It should be on every communications practitioner’s reading list and companies should insist their in house and external legal counsellors read it.”

Noel Turnbull

Former Chair of Turnbull Porter Novelli


“Senior managers who find themselves in the C-suite for the first time, Crisis Counsel should be mandatory reading. Such specific legal and communications provocations are not covered in university management courses, and the introduction is replete with illuminating case studies and key takeaways.

“The author provides sage advice for Chief Executives who must ultimately make a decision based upon what they think is the right thing to do; often under pressure.   Crisis team leaders and team members will find this book equally of value, as the more you know about it, the better you and the team will be.”

Jim Truscott

Director, Jim Truscott & Associates Pty Ltd

Perth, Australia


“For far too long, the role of lawyers in crisis management has been neglected. If discussed at all, it is often in negative terms. Tony Jaques adjusts this picture in masterly, yet eminently readable terms. His comprehensive discussion of apology in crisis management is likely to be a go-to source for years to come. This is a welcome book for anyone interested in how crisis-confronted corporations (and other organizations, too) can navigate the tricky legal waters of communicating under fire. For university teachers like me, it’s a rich source of well-researched case studies. A gem!”

Chris Galloway, PhD

Head of Pubic Relations

Massey University of New Zealand


I have been a crisis advisor for more than 35 years and have taught crisis management and crisis communication in graduate business and professional schools for more than 30 years. I have advised lawyers and been hired through lawyers to advise our mutual clients. I have taught lawyers through bar associations and have trained individual lawyers in crisis management. And I have fought with lawyers; sometimes I have won those fights. And I have learned from lawyers.

A typical interaction is this: In the CEO’s office the lawyer will give all the legal reasons to say as little as possible in the early phases of a crisis. The CEO will then look at me.

My reply, “I believe you have received excellent legal advice. And you should take it seriously. But please recognize that you don’t have a legal problem, at least not yet. You have a business problem. And you need to make a business decision. You need to consider the risk of legal liability seriously. But not exclusively. You should also consider the consequences of the loss of trust of those who matter to you: your employees, customers, investors, regulators, and others. You can protect yourself from legal liability that will play out years from now but lose the company in the process. Or you can attend to the immediate needs and concerns of your stakeholders now, in ways that manage future legal liability.”

It’s very hard for the lawyers to object to that. I then offer, “Between self-defeating silence and self-destructive blabbering, there’s lots of room to maneuver.” I then ask the lawyer about categories of possible communication:

  • Acknowledge: Can we acknowledge awareness of what has happened? The answer is usually Yes.
  • Can we express empathy toward those who are affected? The lawyers usually say, Yes, but we need to be careful not to admit blame. My reply, Great. Let’s do it carefully.
  • Can we declare our values? We typically have them published on our website.
  • Can we describe the overall approach we will take to address the crisis and resolve it? The lawyers usually say we need to be very careful. I again reply, Great. Let’s do it carefully.
  • Can we make some kind of commitment? How about a procedural commitment: We’ll update you when we know more. Or a substantive commitment: We’ll get to the bottom of this and fix it.

This often leads to the lawyers and communicators collaborating early in the crisis to find the balance. It doesn’t need to be adversarial or either-or.

Tony Jaques has written a masterful guide to managing the natural tension between lawyers and communicators. Crisis Counsel: Navigating Legal and Communication Conflict is a highly readable guide to effective and respectful interaction among lawyers, communicators, and business leaders. He helps us understand the mindset of lawyers and the mindset of communicators, and how leaders can exercise good decision skills. He includes a wealth of real-world examples of well and poorly handled crises from around the world and across forms of organization. It contains both wisdom and practical tools for responding effectively in a crisis. And he quotes a wide range of crisis experts (full disclosure: including me).

This is an important contribution to our understanding of crises, leadership, and decision-making. It’s the kind of book I wish I had been able to read when I was just starting in crisis decades ago. And it is a valuable book for lawyers, communicators, and leaders in all sectors.

Helio Fred Garcia

New York City

July, 2020

Helio Fred Garcia is the president of the crisis firm Logos Consulting Group. He teaches crisis, leadership, ethics, and communication at New York University and Columbia University. He is the author of five books, including The Agony of Decision: Mental Readiness and Leadership in a Crisis.

As the world has grappled with coronavirus and the resulting economic crisis, reputation has been the key word in the board rooms of major corporations and the inner circles of government. We’re discovering if people trust their Government enough to do what it asks them to. We’re going to find out which major brands emerge from the crisis with their reputations intact and which leave a bad taste in the mouth.

In March 2020 Warren Buffet called on American Express, in which his company is the largest shareholder, to protect its reputation during the pandemic because “the brand is special.”

At a shareholder meeting in May, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos was asked if the increased scrutiny the business was under would harm its reputation with customers, to which he replied that the increased scrutiny would enhance its reputation with customers.

Reputation is, according to American academic and author John Doorley, an assessment of performance, behaviour and communication, underpinned by an assessment of an organisation’s authenticity. Most of us working in consultancy and advising on reputation believe that having a clear purpose and real values – and living by those values – is vital to long-term success.

Yet in 2020, we see unresolved reputational crises all over the world. Insurers are arguing over paying business interruption claims to small businesses. Travel operators are fighting to not give back money for cancelled holidays. Major corporations are being challenged over the honesty and fairness of major redundancy programmes.

Across the world, senior leadership teams are having to balance doing the right thing for their customers and staff with limiting legal liability and maximising shareholder returns. The issues at the heart of this excellent book are being played out in board rooms all over the world. CEOs are being faced with sometimes conflicting advice from legal counsel and communication counsel.

I was introduced to Tony Jaques by our friends at SenateSHJ and Lansons was delighted to help with the interviews with lawyers for chapter two of this book. As Tony highlights, the relationships between communication specialists and lawyers are rarely confrontational and are rarely straightforward. Even the words we use cross over. Reputation management is a term used equally by law firms and communications consultancies. In my work, I describe myself as a specialist in managing reputations and will often work alongside a lawyer who says the same thing – but the skills we bring and the advice we give can be very different.

The key to success for the modern CEO in times of crisis is to blend different expertise, which in turn makes it easier to get the big calls right. Tony’s book uses real examples and his own experience to help this process. I would recommend that a leader facing major issues and crises read this book. You’ll make better decisions if you do.

Tony Langham

London, United Kingdom

July, 2020

Tony Langham is Chief Executive of Lansons, based in London and New York and the author of Reputation Management: The Future of Corporate Communications and Public Relations.