Tuesday, May 08, 2012
One of the common excuses heard from felons is "everybody does it." That is why this defense of a CEO who lied on his resume rings hollow. He may be a competent executive, and he might be doing the right things for Yahoo but fabrication of academic credentials is indefensible. A PR practitioner would be unwise to go to bat for the CEO in the matter. Rather, any expression should be apology and a promise never to do it again. That is, if the CEO survives the media drubbing he is getting. The "everybody-does-it defense" is lousy for a number of reasons. First of all, everybody doesn't do it. Secondly, it is a feeble excuse for misbehavior. Third, it attempts to incriminate everyone else with a negative spin of "we're all in this together." It is unlikely that a PR practitioner will be called upon to use "everybody does it," but if a client should ask, the answer is no.