How to stay off the front page: Create a culture of learning

Making the front page or lead story on the evening news can certainly be a good thing for a company. It could be a big, exciting merger announcement or an uplifting story about your new charitable fund to better educate underprivileged children. Yes, that's how you want to make the news.

On the flip side, there have recently been numerous companies getting coverage they definitely don't want. In the polite spirit of not naming names, I won't; but I bet you could name two or three of these well-known companies within ten seconds.

What's worse, sometimes the public responses to these high-profile PR nightmares do more damage to their tainted reputations, even as they're ironically attempting to repair them. For example, defending a really bad policy as "just what we do;" blaming low-level employees for top-down decisions; or setting a maverick CEO loose on social media -- these responses often expose policy and cultural failings deeper than the original scandals.

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