PSU and Syracuse Sexual Abuse Scandals Top 2011 Crisis Management Poll

EWC Poll Gauges Executive Insights on U.S.-Based Business Operations During 2011

Oxford, Connecticut, UNITED STATES

OXFORD, Conn., Jan. 26, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new nationwide poll of business executives indicates the alleged sexual abuse scandals involving coaches at two prominent eastern universities topped the list of 2011 corporate crises. The dishonor within the Penn State and Syracuse University athletic departments received 13.16 percent of the 266 responses to earn the top spot in a poll co-sponsored by the Institute for Crisis Management (ICM) and Evolving World Communications (EWC).

"The initial crisis event is often made worse by the delay in properly managing it and talking about it," according to ICM Senior Consultant Larry Smith. "In both university events, it would have been far better to take the "hit" when officials first learned of the charges, and get it over with, than add to the negative public perception of a cover-up."

"From the standpoint of reputation management, the question exists where the public places the blame. Is it tilted toward the alleged actions of the coaches or the people protecting the educational institutions," said Sean Clancy, managing director of EWC. "Whether the impact is felt most in the school's fundraising efforts, student recruitment, or faculty retention, the likelihood is negative sentiment could linger for a generation before either school regains the reputation they possessed on October 1, 2011."

The remaining Top Five crises were:

3. (Tie) TEPCO's crisis management and communications strategy following the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear radiation release and Bank of America's plan to charge debit card fees (12.41%)

4. (Tie) News Corp. phone hacking scandal and General Electric receiving $3.2 billion tax benefit while paying zero taxes (11.28%)

5. Netflix's pricing scheme and company rebranding snafu (10.53%)

The high tech industry produced the lowest number of responses as the Yahoo Board of Directors firing CEO Carol Bartz during a phone conversation netted 2.63% and HP suing ex-CEO Mark Hurd for taking a new job with Oracle Corp. finished last at 1.88%

About the Institute for Crisis Management

Founded in 1989, the Institute for Crisis Management is a research-based crisis communications consulting company with clients throughout the U.S. and abroad. ICM develops communications strategies that can avert or at least minimize the disruption and financial impact of a sudden or smoldering crisis, so the client's business or organization return to normal, profitable operations in the shortest possible time.

About Evolving World Communications

Evolving World Communications (EWC), which has been identified as a Startup Connecticut company in the "Startup" category, is a virtual public relations and marketing agency formed in August 2011. By integrating certified Six Sigma black belts into the campaign goal setting process, EWC provides clients an unmatched measure of campaign accountability. Client accounts are managed by top-tier Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising talent drawn from the NYC metro/New England states region who found their career paths sidetracked by the country's economic downturn.

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