Jon Austin is the senior partner of J Austin & Associates, a communications consultancy company founded in 2006. Jon has expertise in media relations, issue management, corporate reputation, and crisis communications planning and response. In a nutshell, Jon is the person companies call when they’re having a reputation problem. For this week’s topic, Jon discusses how to reduce the negative impact on your brand image, when something bad happens to your company.
[1:00] Jon is the person to call when things hit the fan.
[1:25] How did Jon get into crisis management?
[5:40] What are some of the subtle differences between public relations, and crisis communications?
[8:55] What happens if a business wants to open a production plant in a nice neighborhood? You call Jon.
[11:30] It’s a challenge to educate and persuade the community towards why a company needs to set up shop in their backyard. Oftentimes, it helps stimulate economic growth.
[12:00] Executives in the C-suite position are usually the ones reaching out to Jon.
[15:05] In light of the recent Wells Fargo scandal, what steps would Jon take to help ease tension?
[18:20] It’s both good and bad, that social media has become so prominent in the last few years. It’s good, because you know someone’s listening. It’s bad, because misinformation can spread like wildfire.
[25:00] In Jon’s experience, most business owners and executives stay up late worrying about how to do the right thing. Mistakes just sometimes happen.
[30:50] What kind of mistakes does Jon see in his industry?
[38:05] Jon talks about how Tylenol recovered from their scandal in the 80’s.
[40:25] What should business owners keep in mind, when handling a crisis?
[43:50] Don’t wait too long to tell your side of the story.
[46:20] It’s important to be upfront with your employees, when drastic changes are happening within the company.
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