11 November 2011

Accountability and crisis PR at Penn State, final entry

I've said a lot about this but I'll just sum it up this way:

Penn State's PR strategy so far appears to be a balance of avoiding those "spectacle" moments when obviously disgraced employees are in the public eye, while accommodating the local football-obsessed culture as much as possible. In my opinion, the strategy should be focused on asserting a set of core principles and consistently reinforcing those assertions through its decisions and actions.

Reputations are re-built based on actions more than statements. The university leadership's actions have been inconsistent so far.

To me it's quite simple - you either have a zero-tolerance policy for raping children or you don't. If you think someone you work with might be raping children (or if you see that taking place), you should do as much as humanly possible to find out and stop it immediately.  The University has terminated the employment of some people who obviously aren't child rapists, but don't appear to share this zero-tolerance policy. But the University hasn't terminated all of them.  One current employee has said under oath that he witnessed such an unspeakable act, then only informed his head coach the next day.  It's unfathomable to me, based on everything that has been reported so far, that other members of the coaching staff knew nothing about what was happening there.

When it comes to the University's reputation, everything else is just noise.

1 comment:

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Wonderful post. If only I'd of come across something as wise and straightforward when I was starting out! See you at the reading!