Damage Control

  • by Eric Dezenhall, John Weber
  • Narrated by Sean Pratt
  • 5 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Much of the conventional wisdom about damage control and crisis PR is self-serving, self-congratulatory, self-deceiving, and flat out wrong. And no one knows it better than Eric Dezenhall and John Weber, who have helped countless companies, politicians, and celebrities get out of various kinds of trouble.
If you're facing a lawsuit, a sex scandal, a defective product, or allegations of insider trading, other PR experts will tell you to stay positive, get your message out, and everything will be just fine. But happy talk doesn't help much during a real crisis, and it's easy to lose sight of your real priorities. In a trial, for instance, you might want the whole world to think you're a wonderful person, but all that matters is whether 12 jurors think you're guilty.
Dezenhall and Weber are especially dismayed by flacks who compare every problem to the famous Tylenol/cyanide episode of 1982: supposedly proof that making nice, admitting fault, and taking immediate corrective action is all you need to do. In reality, Tylenol's situation was nothing like the typical corporate crisis.
The authors share many powerful lessons, including:

The difference between a nuisance, a problem, and a crisis
When you can't get them to like you, get them not to attack you
It's not about facts; it's about symbols
The best case studies are the ones you'll never hear about
Good deeds won't position you out of the line of fire

Damage Control will reveal what works, what doesn't, and how to really survive a career-threatening situation. It will be the definitive book on this subject for years to come.


What the Critics Say

"This is mandatory listen for any corporate person who is facing a gut-wrenching crisis now or is likely to one day: which of course means just about everybody." (Stanley Bing, author and Fortune columnist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Infomercial For Authors' Crisis-comm Firm

This is a poorly edited, poorly organized hodgepodge of crisis communications advice designed for a non-practitioner audience. Once you get beyond the initial premise that Tylenol's response to its product tampering scandal should not be the go-to strategy for every corporate crisis situation, there's very little additional value-add.

The book presents a number of "common sense" crisis responses that make sense when linked to a particular anecdote, but seemingly contradict strategies presented elsewhere in the book. There is little context to show when a particular strategy is appropriate.

While the authors say that they eschew crisis communications "alchemists," this book, when taken as a whole, seems to depict this branch of communications as nothing more than alchemy itself. While ostensively trying to help readers avoid crisis communications mistakes, the subtext is that crisis communications is too difficult to understand and should be left to experts... experts like the authors.

I resent blowing an audible credit and several hours of my time to what has turned out to be a slick, but academically vacant, infomercial. Unless you're looking for "thunk factor" - the sound this book will make hitting the desk of your CEO - in order to justify your hiring of the authors' communications firm, this book is a "pass."
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- David

Very Interesting

What made the experience of listening to Damage Control the most enjoyable?

It was enjoyable to learn more about the major corporate crises and what could have potentially helped them to avoid these pitfalls.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, we listened to this during a road trip. My husband was intrigued as well.

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- lauren murray

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-18-2007
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC