Crisis Communications Dos And Don’ts: HAVE YOUR CRISIS TEAM IN PLACE BEFORE A CRISIS HAPPENS.
Robert Greene published “The 48 Laws of Power” in 1998 but Donald Trump was practicing those laws well before then. President Trump should have made each of his campaign and White House staffers read the book before their first day on the job. Perhaps then they would have been ready for the daily crisis that is President Donald J. Trump.
Greene writes of Law 6: “Court Attention At All Cost
“Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crown, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious than the bland and timid masses.”
Priebus, Spicer, Scaramucci, Bannon. None of them were ready for the way Trump plays this law daily and the backlash it can have on the performer and those around him. “All attention is good attention,” is Trump’s motto. That may even be his daily affirmation as he sits down to draft his first tweet of the day with the proactive plan of creating a crisis.
There may be no one in history who can manipulate the media like Trump can. And there in lies the problem. Because he’s better than anyone, his team can’t control him or even catch up to him. Unfortunately for the American people, the crisis isn’t in Trump’s brand as much as he thinks it is. The crisis is the impact on the legislative agenda. Or lack there of.
I tell my clients often “I can save you from outside forces. I cannot, however, save you from yourself.” This is where Trump’s team finds themselves. They then turn their conflict inward, completely unprepared and attacking each other because they cannot attack the source of the crisis, their employer.
For Trump’s team, there is only one way to be prepared for the coming crisis – stop thinking about how there may be a crisis and, instead, know that a new crisis will arise every single day as long as Donald Trump is President of the United States and as long as he continues to play with Green’s sixth law. Always be in crisis mode. Lean on each other. Create an unbreakable loyal team that will not turn on each other through petty leaks and power plays. Have a General in place (now literally) who can make the final call for the team. Always believe the worst is coming. Because it is.
Companies must do the same. They must have a team in place that understands crisis and is ready to move immediately. They must stop thinking about IF and start thinking about WHEN. The team must be smart, fast, flexible and most of all loyal – not just to the boss, but to each other.
There are many tips to get you through a crisis, but every single of of them relies on a solid team is who ready to mobilize the second a crisis hits.