Tuesday, May 04, 2004


In a full-blown international crisis, it's damned hard to maintain perspective. I'm learning that anyway. The moment-to-moment changes in the story, deluges of news calls, myriads of articles appearing on Web sites and TV and radio reports overwhelm. One can no longer feel where the story is going and how it might turn out. It is enough to keep up with the news cycle. But losing perspective is dangerous, because it is then one gives bad advice to the client.

We had a case today, and I'm not sure who is right. (I think it wasn't me.) It was a question of what to do next in the media, if anything, about a huge crisis. My boss took a position I found alarming. I opposed him because I said it was too early to expose the CEO to questioning that my boss' position would open the CEO to. We went back and forth and for and back. It was then I noticed a colleague standing at the door who is good about judging things. I asked him listen to the argument. He did. There was a long pause, and he said he favored my boss' position. His reasoning -- the CEO needs to show visible leadership in this instance. I thought that response over and realized he had a point, but I still felt the risks are terrible if something should go wrong.

I argued for a delay and got it. We proposed an alternative to the client that the client liked and is doing. We will come back to the original proposal in a day or two, depending on the media climate.

There is no right or wrong in a case like this. There is more or less risk. One has to know the situation and personalities well enough to know the risk to take. I think late tonight that we should propose the boss' idea, but I want to see what is happening. However, there might not be a day or two to spare. The story is moving fast. I am left with a question, "Am I too conservative?"


Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?