Welcome. My name is Jon, and I’ll be your blogger today.
A few words about me to start things off.
For years, people have been telling me I should write a book. A memoir, perhaps, recounting some of the more interesting situations I’ve encountered over three decades on the crisis management front lines. Or maybe a compendium of juicy tales from my 20 years working at some of the world’s most prominent PR firms. Or the lessons I’ve managed to learn about entrepreneurship since venturing forth 10 years ago in the depths of a global economic crisis to start Reputation Architects.
I appreciate the encouragement. Bask in it, in fact. I just find it hard to imagine that any of these folks have considered whether they would actually pay money for such a book if the opportunity were to present itself.
Call me skeptical.
As those who know me will readily attest, skepticism is my resting state. It has served me well over the 30 or so years I’ve spent helping clients navigate and recover from all manner of reputational crises. Early in my career, I was blindsided in the middle of a crisis because the client “forgot” to share a somewhat embarrassing but important bit of history. I’ve made it a strict practice to trust, but verify, ever since. If my cocked eyebrow and probing questions have caused anyone any irritation, I’m sorry. (That was an excellent example of a lousy apology, by the way.)
So, what do I intend to write about?
Good question. I’ve been asking that a lot myself.
Fans often asked Douglas Adams, who wrote “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” how he came up with ideas for things to write.
They came to him, he said, “mostly from getting annoyed about things. Not big issues so much…as the little irritations that drive you wild out of all proportion.”
Being annoyed is another core competency of mine, so I take that as encouragement.
I plan to use this space to share observations, ideas and caustic commentary at the busy crossroads of reputation, culture and common sense.
What you won’t find here – at least I sincerely hope not – is conventional wisdom. I have no interest in rehashing anything one can easily read elsewhere.
Has anyone not gotten the message that companies need crisis plans?
Humankind’s body of work on the importance of crisis plans already spans more than half a billion Google entries, 157 million of which promise to reveal some number of essential crisis management tips. Usually five, seven or 13, in case you were wondering.
Let my SEO chips fall where they may. I have no plans to weigh in.
I welcome your comments, questions, suggestions, criticisms and alternative points of view, so long as they’re civil and relevant. Just understand that I reserve the right to debate or ignore you at my sole discretion and, as the lawyers would say, be guided accordingly.
Those, dear readers, are your terms and conditions.
This is my soapbox.