Arrogance and Crisis Management Don’t Mix

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    Apple is in trouble as it faces court cases and political scrutiny without a cushion of goodwill

    Apple is infamous for its approach, or, perhaps more accurately, lack of approach, when it comes to creating goodwill. While this approach stood as an anomaly in the PR world for some time, the company is now facing negative repercussions in Washington and in court as a result of some less-than-ethical decisions and its standoffish attitude.

    Interviewed by Politico’s Steve Friess, BCM president Jonathan Bernstein had this to say:

    Corporate reputation consultant Jonathan Bernstein said it hurts Apple to have “the perception of being a go-it-alone, arrogant corporation.”

    “They’re going to pay a price in decisions made against them, whether it’s by litigators or prosecutors or the consumer,” he said.

    In other words, when you’re David refusing Goliath, you can sometimes get away with it because, essentially, the public likes a little guy to stick it to “the man.” When you’re the Goliath in your industry, though, you get to toe the line, and a refusal to do so is seen by both public and regulators as, to borrow Jonathan’s wording, arrogant. When you’re arrogant, you get no sympathy, and when you get no sympathy in the court of law, the court of public opinion, or D.C., it’s hard to come out ahead.

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is Social Media Manager for the firm, and also editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]