More Takeaway Points to Consider
If you are libeled or slandered, cont.
*If a company or an individual is wronged, the two people to talk to at once are a gunfighter lawyer and a PR person. Get them out of bed or off the golf course or back from Hawaii and set up crisis situation room that is manned 24/7.
*Designate a single individual to be the only spokesperson, and be firm that no one else speak to the media.
*Nothing gets attention like the threat of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit.
If someone in your company does the libeling
*Again, if the statement is demonstrably untrue, it is essential to deal with the situation immediately to head off radioactive fallout and a potential lawsuit. That means admitting the error, apologizing, doing whatever is necessary to make things right and very likely terminating the employment of the person who caused the problem.
* It is not a good idea to allow former or current employees to grant interviews or discuss the case in any public forum. Otherwise, the media very likely will continue to ingest this new fodder and disgorge dirt, keeping the unfortunate event alive far beyond its normal shelf life.
*Chances are you cannot simply apologize, hunker down and hope it all goes away.
*Americans are a very forgiving people. Recent history has shown that it is the cover-up and failure to take immediate corrective action--not the original misdeed--that gets people into trouble.
A chilling personal digression
Around 1960 at a party in the Sutton Place apartment of author Will Oursler, I was introduced to Robert Harrison, the notorious editor of the muckraking magazine Confidential, precursor to the current crop of supermarket tabloids. Harrison, who sported a silver cigarette holder, was rail thin with gray hair, a gray suit with gray shirt and gray tie, and had a gray complexion. I had a four-sentence exchange with him.