Monday, October 27, 2008

To Hide Or Not 

The economy is so bad that companies are faced with a choice -- to hide from the media or to continue to work with them. The reflex reaction is to hide, even if a business continues to do better than expected in the downturn. "Better than expected" may mean missing guidance but making a profit. For many CEOs that is too much to bear. They see such periods as a time to hunker, to concentrate on keeping their businesses upright and waiting out the recession.

For some, the downturn is an opportunity. Their firms may not be affected as much, and a recession is a chance to demonstrate that their earnings remain relatively steady. For others, plummeting earnings requires an active defense of their firms and decisions.

It is hard in this recession to counsel CEOs. Part of the problem is that the media themselves are experiencing cuts with staffs being downsized and news holes rationalized. Not only is there bad news, but there is less space in which to report it, so why should a CEO remain out front? In that respect, this recession is unlike any downturn I've experienced. The months to come will be interesting.


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