Arnold Schwarzenegger. Anthony Weiner. Tiger Woods. Tiki Barber. Like many societal ills, adultery knows no bounds. People of all races, ethnicities, educational levels and socioeconomic backgrounds commit adultery. And they lie to cover it up. And they get caught.
Because I feel sorry for the likes of A2 and T2, I am going to offer them some free advice about crisis communications. It’s called the LINNIE Model.
- Lying makes the situations worse. Don’t do it. Tell the truth. Doing so will take the wind out of the sails of the investigative reporters and bloggers, and eventually they will go away.
- Initiate contact with your stakeholders before telling the rest of the world. Your family members and friends should not find out about your adultery when the rest of us do. They deserve more than that. How you handle the situation with your inner circle will dictate how they treat you.
- Never blame the other woman or man. You took wedding vows with your spouse – not the other woman or man. Take responsibility for your own actions. Pointing fingers will only worsen the situation.
- Never fake it. Be sincere. If you put on a front, people will know – and they will punish you for it. If you cry, be sure the tears are real. If you say you are going to therapy, be serious about it and complete it.
- Identify a reputable PR firm to help you navigate the crisis. Doing so is not insincere or calculated. It’s smart. Be sure the firm has an excellent track record for handling crises.
- Examine the reasons why you cheated. Get help. And for goodness’ sake, don’t repeat your mistakes – learn from them. If you do, the writers of history may be kind to you.
Do you have any advice for A2 and T2?