In a Crisis…Preparation is Critical
In the midst of a company crisis people need to know company leaders are taking responsibility and doing the right thing. It took the CEO of Volkswagen a “do-over” interview to get this right.
In a flubbed interview with NPR in January regarding Volkswagen’s emissions-rigging scandal, Volkswagen CEO, Matthias Müller, tried to deny deceiving regulators, claiming VW “didn’t lie”. He said that the
issue, related to rigging engines to cheat on emissions tests, was instead
caused by “a technical problem” that stemmed from a misinterpretation
of U.S. law.
He then questioned the reporter’s assertion that Americans believe there are ethical problems within the company: “I cannot understand why you say that.” After what I assume was some intense crisis media training, Müller asked for a “do-over”. In the follow-up interview he gets back on track. “We fully accept the violation,” he said. “There is no doubt about it,” and the company is doing its “utmost” to resolve the issue.
It is rare that anyone gets a “do-over” media interview and frankly, once the damage is done – it is done. Click here to read both the initial and follow-up NPR interviews so you can see the importance of proper media training to get it right the first time.