5 ways to overcome a reputational crisis

After a crisis that led to a yearlong civil rights investigation, Lehigh University offers tips. Do the right thing. Marshal your staffers to help you respond. Listen to your critics. And bring donuts.

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Editor’s note: This story is taken from Ragan’s distance-learning portal RaganTraining.com. The site contains hundreds of hours of case studies, video presentations, and interactive courses.

Oh, Lehigh University had seen viral stories before, as when a student dressed as a Teletubby broke into an apartment, raided the fridge, and dumped Chinese food into his “man purse.”

But until the college experienced a yearlong whirlwind of bad news and a federal civil rights investigation, it hadn’t really felt the trauma of full reputational crisis.

Holding to your principles and doing the right thing will help you recover your mojo in such a situation, says Jordan Reese, director of media relations at the top-40 research institution. Be yourself and tap your best people.

In a Ragan Training video titled ” Do the right thing: Preserving reputation through a year-long crisis ,” Reese tells how Lehigh marshaled its strengths and confidence in its mission to overcome an emergency that threatened to cause serious damage.

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