Oppo research
Steampunk PR

You know you're in trouble when...

Post cover williams

You kind of apologize that you "mis-remembered" what happened, sending thousands to their dictionaries.

The New York Post's cover shows you with a Pinnochio nose and capitalizes on your name's alliteration with "lyin'."

The New York Times puts its Day Two story about your problems on its front page, above the fold, with nearly a full-page after the jump.  Then it produces a video detailing exactly how your "story has changed."

Rumors force your predecessor in the job to issue a statement that he has not called for you to be fired.

A PR trade publication starts an online survey asking if your apology worked. (The answer is two-to one that it didn't.) Uninvited PR advice is sure to follow.  See below.

Your employer leaks word that it has started "an investigation," practically guaranteeing there will be Day Three and Four stories.

At this point, all you need to do to tighten the lid on your coffin is hire some high-priced PR counsel. Sadly, the best advice you'll get is the hardest to follow because it doesn't guarantee a soft landing and it may even be too late -- tell the truth, apologize, and give something back to demonstrate your contrition.  

You can try something like: "I exaggerated what happened to make it sound more exciting and myself more brave. I'm sorry. I'm making a sizable donation to Wounded Warrior Family Support. It serves the men and women who really faced the kinds of dangers I lied about.  It won't change or excuse what I did, but it's the least I can do to express my profound regret."



It's sad. It's like a "big fish" story. It just grew and grew over the years. He didn't gain a job or money by lying. He was in Iraq on a helicopter that landed in a desert and stayed two nights...he wasn't at a spa.

But this has gotten out of hand....and unfortunately for a period of time he's toast....and I think that's a shame and waste of talent.

Although david letterman survived and thrived by admitting he was human and did things he was ashamed of....and said he knew he had a lot to do to make it up to his wife.

Maybe if he admitted he wanted to make himself seem braver and more important.....and in doing so lessened real heroes...and he'll regret it...and give to the wounded war veterans...great charity by the way.

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