Why you shouldn’t trust your instincts in a crisis

Good crisis communications can seem to defy logic, especially when legal teams are involved. Michael Maslansky looks at Google’s response to the #GoogleWalkout—and how it got better over time.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

Under the pressure of a crisis, how a company responds is almost always the same: a knee-jerk response that tells their side of the story.

Google has spent much of the last month trying to build an effective response to The New York Times‘ article on October 25, 2018 titled “How Google Protected Andy Rubin, the ‘Father of Android'” about how the company paid Mr. Rubin $90 million dollars all while keeping silent about harassment claims made against him. CEO Sundar Pichai is hoping that his fourth statement in less than a month addressing the piece will finally allow the company to move forward.

Why did it take four responses—and what can companies do to apply the lessons of past failures to the next crisis they face?

The heat of the moment

Google surely believed they had a thoughtful communications plan in place for this story. They knew the story was coming with The New York Times reaching out for comment. What they did not realize was that three crucial elements stood in their way.

1. Emotion

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.