There is a lot of controversy concerning a local blood bank executive who was collecting pay increases while laying off employees. These increases were higher than what myself or a lot of average people out there make in a year, and now the story is out in the light and it is an ugly mess.
The media is reporting conflict amongst board members, there is no issues management plan, and the only thing people are remembering when they read or hear about this story is that infamous number, which is this executive’s annual salary. People are threatening to stop donating blood…..blood! The substance that saves lives everyday. Heck Bill McCollum would give Alex Sink a pint of blood if she needed it….hopefully.
This is where public relations and crisis communications come into play. You have to spot these problems and correct them and if these problems that are part of the nature of the job then you need to be prepared to explain yourself to the public. It is the “glass half empty” nature of my work.
There is rumor that this executive has not returned to her office in a few days. This is necessary; if she does not resign then she needs to go on an indefinite leave of absence. You have to take the source of the controversy out of the picture and take the steps necessary to right the wrongs and you need to keep the public informed every step of the way.
A super firm from Tallahassee has been brought in to help rebuild the image of the company…good. I wish them luck and I hope other companies can learn from this. If you don’t have an issues management plan in place, get an evaluation done. It might save your company’s image down the line.