Dezenhall, a crisis management consultant, reflects on the contemporary challenges of reputational damage control in the digital age. Arguing that both organizations and individuals are increasingly more susceptible to scandal, he takes readers through the “fiasco vortex” of new media, detailing several controversies from recent headlines, many of which ran amok with bogus information (including a wildly misleading ABC News report on “pink slime” in ground beef and the Toyota sudden-acceleration drama). When it comes to mending a broken reputation, Dezenhall offers advice by way of example, emphasizing that these remedies depend on context. (Bill Clinton and Martha Stewart were able to weather the storm; Paula Deen fell on the side of less successful). The author defends corporations against whistle-blowers and activists, claiming, dubiously, that “the meek are predators and the strong are prey.” However, he rightly identifies a public schadenfreude inherent in the taking down of wealthy targets and finds a more palatable enemy in “Big PR” firms that are ill-equipped to handle the intricacies. While Dezenhall claims to address a wide audience, he freely admits to favoring those at the center of a scandal, and as a result the book favors corporations both in applicability and ideology. Agent: Kris Dahl, ICM. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/25/2014 Release date: 10/07/2014 Genre: Nonfiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.