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Dezenhall Authors Book on Crisis Management

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Georgetown McDonough School of Business Adjunct Professor Eric Dezenhall demystifies common myths about crisis management in his recent book, Glass Jaw: A Manifesto for Defending Fragile Reputations in an Age of Instant Scandal, which was published on October 7.

Dezenhall, who teaches a course on crisis management and marketplace defense for Georgetown McDonough MBA students, is the founder and CEO of Dezenhall Resources, Ltd., one of the nation’s leading crisis management and marketplace defense firms. In Glass Jaw, Dezenhall explains that managing a scandal is more about making the problem go away than about trying to turn the problem into something good.

Dezenhall notes that in the climate of today’s instant media and Internet news, a crisis often spirals out of control before it even begins. That is, Internet and social media can give the impression that a situation has been mishandled even before all the facts are known. Dezenhall asserts that this Internet and media climate renders it nearly impossible to escape a “fiasco” once a company or an individual is caught in the middle of it, as he further explains in Glass Jaw.

“It is far more conductive, it is far more powerful to say this person is evil than … to say, ‘Wait a minute,’” Dezenhall said. “One of the clichés you hear about crisis management is ‘get ahead of the story.’ How do you get ahead of something that moves at this speed? You don’t.”  However, Dezenhall demonstrates that many targets of attack survive controversy in the long term if they reject the conventional crisis management playbook, lengthen their time-frame for recovery, and recognize that overcoming crisis may involve unconventional tools.

-David Chardack