Rob Ford’s Downfall: Failed Crisis Management

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    Rob Ford: The Cost of Failed Crisis Management

    Once in a great while, someone is beyond help when it comes to reputation.

    You may recall the story we covered early this past summer where we discussed claims from two media outlets that they had seen a video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine with a pair of drug dealers.

    Ford and his camp went into conniptions and alternately blasted out oddball communications or sat silent, avoiding the public eye. Well, Ford may have thought he dodged a bullet, but now Toronto police say they have the video, and its content is damning.

    The Toronto Star reports:

    Toronto Police have recovered the video that appears to show Mayor Rob For smoking crack cocaine, Toronto police Chief Bill Blair said Thursday.

    “The video files depict images that are consistent with what has previously been reported” in the media, Blair said at a news conference on the heels of a release of documents used by police to obtain search warrants during their summer investigation.

    “I have no reason to resign,” Ford said at a raucous 2:30 p.m. press conference despite calls from several councillors for him to step down.

    If you had any doubts about Ford being high as a kite, that last statement should cement things for you.

    Toronto Police don’t just have the video, either. News is coming out about a massive police investigation which has turned up evidence of Ford and the few remaining staff members he has associating with all kinds of shady characters from the area, from drug dealers to ex-cons.

    There is, literally, no crisis management tactic that could turn this situation around. In terms of the court of public opinion, the best thing Ford could do is virtually disappear, but the fact that he’s likely to be pulled into a court of law to face charges makes that all but impossible.

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Erik Bernstein is Social Media Manager for Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, and also editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]