He is married to Donna More, who ran as a Democrat for Cook County State’s Attorney and lost. She supported Gov. Rauner’s campaign in 2014, but then disavowed that move in 2015. Englehart’s only campaign contributions in the state system are to his wife’s candidacy.
* His bio is here. From a piece he wrote entitled “Five Things You Need to Know about Business in Crisis”…
First, the best crisis antidote is to tell it all and tell it fast.
Among expert crisis communicators, this is code for the obvious: the best way to get out of the news is to stop making news. Cover ups, diversions, and delays will inevitably deepen your troubles. “Fast” is a relative term here. What it really means is much faster than normal. Businesses, by their nature, are deliberative organizations. In a crisis, time compresses and, aided by relentless media, there is a premium on speedy decision making.
Second, understand that crisis is the ultimate marketing event.
Every value that your brand stands for is put to the test during a crisis, and your stakeholders will expect you to live up to those values when things aren’t going your way. Think how much better off GM would be if they behaved like customer-concerned leaders when their ignition switch problem surfaced.
Third, crisis is a creature of media and communication.
Let’s face it; operating incidents that don’t make the news are much different than ones that do. Most businesses aren’t accustomed to the kind of scrutiny that comes with a full blown crisis. Sure, they have contingency plans for accidents or incidents that interrupt their business. But very few have plans for dealing with an onslaught of piercing media inquiry.
Next, you can’t talk your way out of trouble.
In fact, it is what you do in a crisis that is important. Think of it this way: you really don’t have anything meaningful to say unless it lines up with what you are doing. Tylenol is the icon for successful crisis management because Johnson & Johnson’s actions did the talking. Taking the product off the shelf told stakeholders all they needed to know.
Finally, you can plan for the unplanned.
In fact, being in control means anticipating failure and being prepared to deal with it. It is the one sure way to improve your odds of success. Develop a worst case scenario and anticipate what it would be like to have the case broadcast on the six o’clock news and/or go viral over social media. Rehearse the communications response and, like you often hear an experienced NFL quarterback say, it will “slow down” the action on the (media) playing field.
One last note. More than 30 percent of all business crises connect directly to executive decisions. The point being, there is no substitute for good decision making when the pressure is on. Do what’s right. Tell the truth. Protect your customer.
Rauner could’ve used this guy a couple of months ago.
*** UPDATE *** From the DGA…
In a 2016 article, Englehart laid out five general practices for crisis communications – there seems to be a lot for Rauner to learn.
Hud Englehart: “First, the best crisis antidote is to tell it all and tell it fast.”
Rauner always tries the opposite and seeks to down-play any turmoil in office. In July, he acted like a 20-person staff turnover was no big deal and he fibbed about interviewing a new staffer. Recently, Rauner’s refused to answer questions about the mysterious firing of his General Counsel.
Englehart: “Second, understand that crisis is the ultimate marketing event.”
Rauner actually nailed this one. When asked about a staffer who compared abortion to Nazi eugenics, Rauner just said he was building the “Best Team in America.” This was also after firing his body man of one day for homophobic tweets.
Englehart: “Third, crisis is a creature of media and communication.”
See: refusing to look at a cartoon for a whole week that the Illinois legislature denounced.
Englehart: “Next, you can’t talk your way out of trouble.”
Rauner once went on Fox News and tried to talk his way out of taking a position on President Trump’s immigration policies. It didn’t work.
Englehart: “Finally, you can plan for the unplanned.”
Another lesson Rauner can learn. One week Rauner was profiling himself as pro-immigrant. The next he was accused about lying about his grandfather’s place of birth, and weakly responded to President Trump’s decision to end DACA.
Will Rauner listen to his new adviser? Maybe he could start by finally addressing the firing of his General Counsel.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Hmm…