Monday, March 17, 2014
The public relations and reputation damage from a key departure can be considerable. Consider this case. The two top leaders of Pimco had a falling out. One is now gone. The fund they managed is in a nose-dive. Headlines focusing on the clash of the two men have sapped morale within the firm. The role of the communicator is difficult. The practitioner must serve the one in charge and help that person calm the storm, whether or not the PR person likes the surviving CEO. There is little room for sentiment. The king is dead. Long live the new king. The CEO must re-focus employees on the job at hand. There is little time and less room for praising the fallen. Those who showed loyalty to the previous CEO must adjust to the new one or leave. It is up to the new CEO, supported by communications, to capture their loyalty or to move swiftly to replace them. At some point, one might pause to reflect on what happened but that time is not now.