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July 15, 2015
Wasn’t Subway’s Ordeal Signaled Early?
We’re not in Subway’s shoes in having to jettison its familiar spokesperson, Jared Fogle, in one day, after the FBI raided his home in a criminal investigation.  The thing is, though, there was at least a premonition of trouble in April, The Communication Center notes, when the director of Fogle’s Jared Foundation was arrested on charges of child pornography.

We haven’t heard what, if anything, ensued at Subway after that incident. But, internally anyway, its crisis communication plan should have covered such a precursor of possible trouble. If an organization doesn’t grasp that crises have roots that deserve acknowledgement and action, it should.

“But the precedent set with the Jared Fogle incident,” The Communication Center intones, “is the speed in which it all happened. Fogle was accused, tried and convicted in a court of PR rapid response over the course of only one working day.” Yes and no.

Managements need to have ranking staff people, indeed any employees, trained in the requirements of internal candor and the prevention of corporate embarrassment. Really, they should.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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