Reese Witherspoon and Crisis Communications




By Steven Fink, President and CEO, Lexicon Communications Corp.

I don’t know whether Academy Award winning actress Reese Witherspoon has readmy latest book on crisis communications, but she has recently given an award-winning example of how to fess up and avoid turning an embarrassing situation into a full-blown media crisis, following a weekend incident when her husband was suspected of driving under the influence and pulled over in Atlanta. Witherspoon, a passenger in the car at the time, had been drinking (by her own admission) and got belligerent and disrespectful with the officer, which resulted in her being arrested for disorderly conduct.

But kudos to her for her actions and her words the next day when she sobered up. And for corporate America, pay attention and learn a thing or two about crisis communications.

In a chapter in my book called “Telling the Truth,” I examine the sad and bizarre case of disgraced former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Weiner, it will be remembered, was caught with his pants down – literally – texting (or sexting) photos of his crotch in an aroused state to young college-aged girls he knew only though Twitter. After being confronted with the story by a reporter, he tried for about a month to lie and worm his way out of it, but with each lie he only dug his grave deeper and deeper. The Los Angeles Times said he “responded by temporarily losing his mind, lying to the media…and spreading a bizarre conspiracy theory that an intercepted photo of his crotch might have been digitally altered.”

Eventually, as you know, he had nowhere else to run and finally confessed and resigned his seat in Congress. In the book I answer the question I’ve been asked several times before when I give speeches on the subject: Was there anything he could have said or done to keep his seat in Congress? And the answer is “Yes.”

As I wrote, “All he had to say, in so many words, was, ‘Yeah, I did it. It was an incredibly stupid, juvenile prank, and I am so embarrassed by this rash act. I apologize to my wife, my family, my constituents, and my colleagues in Congress. I assure you that it will never happen again. I ask for privacy while I undergo spiritual counseling and I try to make amends to my family.’”

Reese Witherspoon Cannes 2012

Reese Witherspoon
Cannes 2012                                      (Photo: Wikipedia)

But – and this is key – he would have had to have done it early! Putting truth on the bench to be called on only if deception strikes out is a crisis management and crisis communications error of potentially lethal proportions. Get out in front of the story, and do it fast, on your terms. If you own up to it fast, you take the wind out of the sails of those who would rally against you.

So what did Ms. Witherspoon do right? Instead of continuing her rant (“Do you know my name?” she challenged the unimpressed cop), the next day she tweeted this message:

“Out of respect for the ongoing legal situation, I cannot comment on everything that is being reported right now. But I do want to say, I clearly had one drink too many and I am deeply embarrassed about the things I said. It was definitely a scary situation and I was frightened for my husband, but that is no excuse. I was disrespectful to the officer who was just doing his job. I have nothing but respect for the police and I’m very sorry for my behavior.”

The story is already dying down. And there will be no residual chink in her A-list status.





First printed book in America to be auctioned by Sotheby’s

First printed book in America to be auctioned by Sotheby’s

FRIDAY, 12 APRIL 2013 14:28

‘The Bay Psalm Book,’ printed in 1640. Property from the Collection of the Old South Church in Boston. Sotheby’s image.

NEW YORK (AFP) – A translation of Biblical psalms that was the first book ever printed in what became the United States goes on auction this November, with an expected price tag of $15-30 million, Sotheby’s said Friday in New York.
The book is one of the best of the 11 surviving copies of The Bay Psalm Book, which Puritan settlers from England printed in Cambridge, Mass., in 1640.

The settlers, who were seeking religious freedom, wanted chiefly to issue their own preferred translation from the Hebrew original of the Old Testament book, rather than the one they had brought across the Atlantic.

However, the volume took on even greater significance, David Redden, the head of Sotheby’s books, said.

“The Bay Psalm Book was not only the first book printed in America, and the first book written in America. This little book of 1640 was precursor to Lexington and Concord, and, ultimately, to American political independence.

With it, New England declared its independence from the Church of England,” he said.

Selby Kiffer, with Sotheby’s special projects department, called The Bay Psalm Book “not simply one of the great icons of book history, it is one of the greatest artifacts of American history.”

No copy from the edition has appeared at auction since 1947, when a different copy fetched $151,000—a record at the time for any book, including the Gutenberg Bible or Shakespeare’s First Folio.

“The Bay Psalm Book is a mythical rarity. Unseen on the marketplace for more than two generations, it has become too rare to collect,” Redden said.

The book is being sold by the Old South Church in Boston to benefit its work in the historic city’s area, Sotheby’s said. The same church possesses another copy of the Bay Psalm Book.


‘The Bay Psalm Book,’ printed in 1640. Property from the Collection of the Old South Church in Boston. Sotheby’s image.


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LinkedIn Acquires Pulse News Reader and Publishing Platform for $90 Million

Devon Glenn on April 11, 2013 5:11 PM

In a move to make LinkedIn “the definitive professional publishing platform,” the company has acquired Pulse, the makers of a news reader and mobile content distribution platform.

The company sold for approximately $90 million, 90 percent of which will be stock; the remaining 10 percent will be cash, according to LinkedIn.

Owned by Alphonso Labs, Inc., Pulse reaches 30 million users in 190 countries with content from more than 750 publishers on iOS and Android devices.

Members from the Engineering, Product, Design and other teams at Pulse will move to LinkedIn’s company’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters when the deal closes.

Pulse members will still be able to use the apps during the transition.

“We are thrilled to be able to add Pulse’s considerable talent, technology, and products to our growing ecosystem of content offerings, and we believe that they will help us accelerate our ability to deliver to our members the insights they need to be better at what they do, on any device,” said Deep Nishar, SVP of products and user experience, in a statement. “To continue to deliver that value to our members, our vision for content is that LinkedIn will be the definitive professional publishing platform, and Pulse is a perfect complement to this vision.”

LinkedIn recently enhanced its options for content marketing to advertisers with the addition of slide shows through SlideShare and videos from YouTube. The company will also allow Sponsored Postswithin the professional network.


LA Antique Jewelry and Watch Show Review

3/30/2013 Posted by Raymond Lee Jewelers

March 2013 kicked off the first LA Antique Jewelry and Watch Show organized by GLM. GLM is also responsible for a few other antique jewelry shows and many other show types. Including but not limited to LA Antique Jewelry and Watch Show. 

Antique show

The Las Vegas Antique Jewelry and Watch Show, The Original Miami Beach Antique Show, New York Antique Jewelry and Watch Show and the Miami Beach Antique Jewelry and Watch Show just to name a few. Mostly all of these shows are productive for the dealers that exhibit and the guests that visit.

These shows are geared mostly for inter dealer business. However if you are looking to purchase yourself a one-of-a-kind piece and are luckily enough to know about these shows they can be a real treat. Most trade shows are terrible in there first few years or at least their first year. The L.A. Antique Jewelry and Watch Show was an exception to this rule. GLM’s marketing team did a much better than average job advertising the show. The turn out was much better than expected and will continue to grow with time. The public in this part of the country are looking for a very fine product at a very sharp price but there was plenty of buying and selling to do at this show.

Next year should be much better and each year there after as well. At vintage jewelry events such as these it is not uncommon for there to be celebrity sightings as vintage jewelry and watches are very trendy now.