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An inside look at crisis management in the 21st century, Feeding Frenzy tells the story of two companies at war with each other, and of the trial lawyers determined to keep the conflict on the front pages. The Ford-Firestone tire crisis was the biggest business story of 2000-2001. Deadly and mysterious rollover accidents of Ford Explorers with failing Firestone tires took a toll of more than 270 lives in the U.S. and at least 100 more in Venezuela and other hot-climate countries.
In compelling narrative, Feeding Frenzy provides a richer case study than can be found in other books on crisis communications. The reader climbs into the front seat for an eventful ride with the Ford PR team, as the automaker tries to understand what's causing the maddening accidents. Firestone's recall of millions of tires does nothing to abate unprecedented scrutiny from international media, safety advocates and an angry U.S. Congress. All the while, trial lawyers are leaking a new inflammatory document virtually every day to journalists competing with one another to break the next big story in this epic crisis.
Jon Harmon is a chief communications officer with experience in all facets of reputation management. Over a 23-year career at Ford Motor Company, Harmon served in numerous roles requiring adroit media relations. He was Ford's chief spokesman during national labor negotiations with the UAW, and for many of Ford's high-profile legal cases and safety issues. As head of public relations for Ford Truck, Harmon was thrust into defending the Ford Explorer throughout the epic Ford-Firestone tire crisis.
Harmon is the author of the Force for Good Communications blog for "aspirational public relations" at www.forceforgoodcom.com.
|Publisher:||Strategic Book Group, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)|
Table of ContentsPREFACE XI
1. PRIDE BEFORE THE FALL 1
2. RUMBLINGS AROUND THE WORLD 17
3. SHOWDOWN IN DEARBORN 31
4. DAY OF RECKONING 49
5. MEDIA FEEDING FRENZY 75
6. TRIAL LAWYERS SEIZE CONTROL OF THE NEWS CYCLE 99
7. CONGRESSIONAL CIRCUS ACT 117
8. THE FEEDING FRENZY WON'T STOP 139
9. THE BLAME GAME 169
10. CASE CLOSED? 203
11. FULL CIRCLE 215
EPILOGUE: CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS IN A WORLD OF NEW MEDIA 231
APPENDIX: MYTHS AND FACTS 241
What People are Saying About This
"A view from inside one of the most intriguing events in modern industry, the highly publicized Ford-Firestone conflict. Jon Harmon, a key player in the drama, gives us a clear view from the team that lived with the enormous challenge for months on end. His "lessons learned" are highly insightful and valuable for any organization dealing with serious legal conflict."--(Dr. David E. Cole, chairman, Center for Automotive Research, Ann Arbor, Mich.)
"The Ford-Firestone dispute marked the start of 21st-century crisis communications. This "ground zero" examination of these events provides invaluable insights for crisis managers everywhere."--(Jonathan Bernstein, CEO, Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc; publisher, Crisis Manager)
"Must reading for CEOs and public relations professionals. Jon Harmon's insider account of a real-life business disaster has all the suspense of a fictional "thriller." From his perch as a senior Ford communicator, he provides rare perspective on a conflict that engaged lawyers and communicators fighting for mega-stakes - dollars and, even more important, reputation."--(Harold Burson, founding chairman, Burson-Marsteller; "the 20th century's most influential PR figure" (PR Week))
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