Worth Reading: Lukaszewski on Crisis Communication: What Your CEO Should Know About Reputation Risk and Crisis Management


However far I may be able to see, it is because I stand on others’ shoulders.  And there’s no set of shoulders that has allowed me to see as far and as well as Jim Lukazewski’s.

Crisis Guru Jim Lukaszewski

Crisis Guru Jim Lukaszewski

I’ve had the good fortune to know and work with Jim for more than 25 years.

Jim has been my friend, my mentor, and my colleague since I was just exploring the world of crisis communication in the mid-80s.  He was the first to publish my musings on crises (in 1988).  And when I decided to start my own firm, eleven years ago, I sought his guidance and counsel.  And he was both generous and helpful.

Although both our firms are in the crisis management, crisis communication, and executive leadership businesses, we aren’t competitors.  We share some clients; we refer other clients to each other.  And we back each other up where necessary.  We have taught together, and written together.  And we also point to each other’s writing.  I’ve blurbed his last three books.  He has blurbed my latest; I’ve quoted him in my last two books.

And I’ve taught from his prior books, including Why Should the Boss Listen to You? Seven Disciplines of the Trusted Strategic Advisor, which is a favorite with both my clients and my students.  (The three-minute drill is particularly helpful — buy the book and look it up; it will be worth it.)

If there’s one powerful, memorable ingredient in Jim’s long career as a trusted advisor, it is his ability to quickly develop novel strategies and approaches to crisis and media relations problems that one can only define as unconventional wisdom.  You can follow his Crisis Guru blog here


Jim’s Latest: A Tour de Force

Now Jim is out with a tour de force: “Lukaszewski on Crisis Communication, What Your CEO Should Know About Reputation Risk And Crisis Management.”



This is a must-read for anyone interested in crisis communication or in protecting reputation.

If you’re looking for traditional advice on managing crisis situations, buy another book.  If you want to actually make a difference, buy this book.

Here’s just a sampling:

  • His focus on the needs and healing processes of victims is a breakthrough perspective on understanding stakeholders affected by a crisis.
  • His web based technique of correction, clarification and commentary is a powerful example of how you can manage your own destiny in crisis, working around the news media even more than you work directly with the news media.  CEOs love it, even lawyers like it.  Employees remain calmer.
  • Jim’s strategies for working as equals with Attorneys, accelerating legal settlements, apology, and victim management break new ground in management strategy and reputation recovery.
  • You’ll be surprised by his Truth Index for assessing the validity of news stories, blogs, and social media commentary.
  • His pragmatic, sensible yet remarkable approaches to dealing with the news media, and the bosses who believe they are terrific communicators, by giving them interesting and powerful alternative approaches.
  • He is a master at managing encounters with activists and emotionalized audiences and constituencies.
  • His chapter on social media puts the use of these new methods of communication in a powerful new context for crisis communications.

But, most of all, to use Jim’s own words, his approaches to crisis management and leadership and organizational recovery are “simple, sensible, sincere, constructive, positive and ethical.”

Working and learning from Jim, which I’ve been doing most of my career, is something all crisis managers and strategic advisors need to experience.  If you’re looking to have a more interesting, powerful and influential career, and crises are in your future, this is the book to buy, now. He is a practitioner’s practitioner.

If you want to be heard, to provide recommendations and innovative approaches that will enhance your influence and access, help keep everyone more calm and focused, “Lukaszewski on Crisis Communication, What Your CEO Should Know About Reputation Risk And Crisis Management” will be your daily desk reference.


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