Crisis Management Quotables…on the Speed of a Lie

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    Are you positioned to stay ahead of damaging rumor, innuendo, and outright lies?

    Considering not only his position as a key politician on the world stage for decades, but also his leadership through World War II’s propaganda battles and spy games, we feel Winston Churchill is more than qualified to speak on the subject of dishonesty. A hat tip to you, Sir Winston, as we dive into this week’s Crisis Management Quotable:

    A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. – Winston Churchill

    It’s no secret that rumor and innuendo manages to travel incredibly quickly when it comes to crises. After all, it’s often juicy and entertaining, which gives people something to talk about. Of course, today the ‘net has enhanced the ability of incorrect information to spread that to a level Churchill never could have imagined, making the risks even greater than they were in his day.

    We always counsel clients to get their story out first, before the opposition (or random bored strangers online) start pumping out juicy lies instead. Getting ahead of the lies and becoming the “go-to” source of information makes crisis management much easier to conduct because you’ve taken greater control of the narrative. Lag behind, let the lies take hold, and you’re going to have a difficult time convincing people that you’re the one telling the truth.

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

    [Erik Bernstein is Social Media Manager for Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy firm, and also editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]