Just being on this list is a crisis.
Businesses are not expected to be perfect. In fact, the public is fairly forgiving of small mistakes if they are admitted to and corrected quickly, and even big problems can be countered over time. The problem arises, though, when an organization lets things go too far. This is the situation that landed many companies on 24/7 Wall St.’s list of “The Fifteen Most Hated American Companies of 2010.” Without further ado, here it is:
1. American Airlines
4. Best Buy
5. Charter Communications
8. Bank of America
10. Dish Network
11. Johnson & Johnson
13. United Airlines
14. British Petroleum
While many on the list were there for perpetuating a culture of poor customer service and unethical practices, several of the organizations are formerly respected companies (Toyota and J&J, to name two of the biggest) whose crisis management and communication skills were found lacking when things got hot, allowing their problems to expand into reputation damage.
For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management
[Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc. , an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training.]