Bad News Doesn’t Age Well

Bad News Doesn’t Age Well

Great quote from PwC US Chairman Tim Ryan who told the New York Times that his philosophy in life is “bad news doesn’t age well.”

PwC is taking a lot of knocks for its flubbed handling of the Academy Award envelopes Sunday night. They might have dropped the ball, or envelop more exactly, but I think they handled the error from a public relations perspective quite well. It is a case study in good crisis management and I think it starts right at the top with this great philosophy by its senior executive.

Step 1:

They admit the error and their team on the ground takes action to correct it

Step 2:

Everyone from the partner who made the mistake to the US chairman accepts responsibility and vows to better the process for the future

Step 3:

PwC issues a press release acknowledging all of the above

If we critically look at this, they are taking 24 hours of body blows, but the story is already dying down come Tuesday morning. The key here is that they stayed with the news cycle in their response and because they are not challenging the situation or instigating it with denials, the smoke will steadily clear over the next few days.

Now when you search PwC for the near future you will see this story and that will linger for a while, this problem will go away because there was a reasonable, fast and targeted response to what could have been a much more damaging reputational event.

Good work PwC!