3 reputation management lessons from the Indiana ‘anti-gay’ law controversy

When people are threatening to boycott an entire state over policies brand managers and business owners can’t control, what’s to be done?

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Though the state quickly passed a “clarified” bill under pressure last week in an attempt at damage control, the economic impact, amplified by loud social media action from prominent businesses, celebrities, and influential people urging an Indiana boycott, has been swift and harsh. Tourism officials are in full crisis mode, with millions in conference spending threatened. If anyone doubts the potential impact, look no further than Arizona. (Reports do show that some Indiana conferences are bouncing back since the law was revised.)

Many small and mid-size businesses who embrace all customers are caught in the in the middle, tarred with the brush of homophobia.

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