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*** UPDATED x2 *** Report: Rauner hires crisis expert

Thursday, Sep 14, 2017

* Hmm…

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…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Arsenal - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    Yeesh, almost makes it sound like Rauner is anticipating something crazy.

  2. - RNUG - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    Needed some editing:

    1) don’t lie

    2) actions speak louder than words

  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    “Losing… is a disease… as contagious as bubonic plague”

    You don’t hire a crisis manager unless you are desperately in a crisis.

    I guess Diana Rauner is still hearing those “whispers” in the Winnetka Cocktail Party circuit, LOL

  4. - Christopher - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    Perhaps Rauner checked his negative rating, and realizes his chances of re-election equals a crisis.

  5. - illini - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:41 am:

    I thought be brought in his Superstars and had hired the BTIA.

    Is this a tacit admission that these moves and his leadership of our State has been a failure?

  6. - XDNR - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    But I thought one of Rauner’s mantras is “Crisis Creates Opportunity”.

  7. - Anon221 - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    How does Rauner square this hire with his own “crisis-chaos-leverage” POV?

    “Crisis creates opportunity. Crisis creates leverage to change … and we’ve got to use that leverage of the crisis to force structural change,” said Rauner, borrowing from a political philosophy famously coined by his friend Rahm Emanuel that “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

    Later, in the same Trib article…

    Pressed to explain, Rauner simply said: “Crisis. Crisis creates leverage.”

  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:45 am:

    ===But I thought one of Rauner’s mantras is “Crisis Creates Opportunity”.===

    Maybe Bruce and Diana Rauner would like less… opportunity.

  9. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:45 am:

    ==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. ==

    So there’s nothing he can do for Bruce.

    Tell the truth…BVR fails at that.
    Do whats’ right…BVR fails at that.
    Good decision making under pressure…another BVR failure.

  10. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    Do whats right. Tell the truth.

    What Illinois politician is going to come out and say,”the states broken and cant be fixed.”

  11. - Macbeth - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    Ironically, this hiring appears (to me, at least) to deepen the ongoing crisis.

    Where’s the “I’m a success at everything I’ve done” guy? Apparently, he’s failed here — and failed yuuuuuge.

    I mean, you can’t cause a crisis — and then hire some dude to clean it up with nonsense statistics (”30% of all crises are caused from executive decisions”) — if you’re a success. Success, to my mind, at least, means avoiding a crisis which, in turns, needs outside help from a “crisis expert”.

    Definitely an up-day on the cocktail circuit. Diana’s brand, one would hope, remains untarnished by this crisis.

    I’ll take a glass of Pinot Grigio with that gougere, please.

  12. - Langhorne - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    ===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.===

    If there is one thing rauners know, its marketing.
    The problem is values. Rauner espouses wonderful things, but his real values are cuts, starve the beast, attack unions.

  13. - LEA - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    ==I guess Diana Rauner is still hearing those “whispers” in the Winnetka Cocktail Party circuit, LOL==

    This reeks of just the that.

    “Diana, dear, you know what Bruce needs is a good crisis manager. I know someone down the street at the University, let me give you his number.”

  14. - Annonin' - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    Well he did create the crisis that destroying higher education and his “solution” was to put Tom Cross in charge.
    Seems this dude is not needed.

  15. - Honeybear - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:55 am:

    Great! Maybe a prof from my alma mater will tackle Rauners ever pervasive perfidy
    Professor Englehart, two years ago I accused Gov. Rauner of perfidy

    The word is now my online claim to fame.
    Sir, that is sad that a Governor is so associated with that word that I should have should get credit for using it

    Here is a tip for routing out Rauners perfidy.
    Nearly all his actions have been bent towards destroying/weakening labor.
    The Governor should own this and fess up as to why.
    Also the Governor should assure the state workforce
    That he will not implement his AFSCME contract in
    Thus initiating his labor war
    It’s widely believed that he will attack when the workforce is least able to defend
    Christmas time
    All it will do is cause the collapse of the workforce
    Reveal the cruelty of his administration.
    Tell him to stop preparing for it
    Both by squirreling away funds
    And holding strike drills at his agencies
    His war on his own workforce is
    His greatest perfidy

  16. - Porgy Tirebiter - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    He can hire anybody he wants but he has to actually listen to them if he wants results. That is his problem. Can’t keep changing youfr facts every other day.

  17. - Norseman - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    Latest advice from the cocktail party circuit?

    Englehart knows his crisis communication. However his hiring is a waste of taxpayer $ because one of the key elements of responding to a crisis involves (as concisely put by RNUG) telling the truth. From election night, Rauner has had a problem with the truth.

    === Next, you can’t talk your way out of trouble. ===

    This is another problem. You need to address the cause of the crisis. Is Rauner willing to start governing instead of stonewalling to get his way? I doubt it.

  18. - Red Rider - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    Another superstar crisis pro.

  19. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    Bigfoot spin doctor.

    The funny thing is, most of the of the media was docile to the point of complicity with Rauner until he purged the superstars and brought in BTIA(TM). Their remarkable incompetence and Rauner’s inability to speak off-script has been blood in the water.

    Rauner didn’t know how good he had it. He brought down the “crisis” on himself.

  20. - besmart - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    “Rauner could’ve used this guy a couple of months ago.”

    Rich, be smarter than that. Hud unofficially “joined” back when Goldberg and the rest of that failing crew ran the show.

  21. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    Willy is the Natural. Nice reference there.

    I think Rauner thinks a crisis manager will help find a way to create new and bigger crises so he can use them to leverage his agenda. Boy is he going to be disappointed when he finds out what this guy really does.

    Hint: it often involves admitting mistakes, offering remorse and accepting consequences. Those are not traits associated with this Governor.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    To the DGA…

    That’s Resturant-Quality, in both turnaround and pointed criticism…

    Yikes, that’s good.

  23. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:11 am:

    I would be remiss…

    … if ignored the plethora of commenters here who pointed to these points too, too many to list as I fear I’d miss more than one….

  24. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    Hud says “…being in.control means anticipating failure..”. Based on Rauner’s personality/character, a couple of these points are beyond gov’s potential. So, I wouldn’t be surprised if this expert is escorted out shortly after Number 1

  25. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:15 am:

    Honeybear, your comments are now reading like poetry. Engraved by a hatchet. 😎

  26. - Generic Drone - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:16 am:

    Rauner is a crisis. So this new fella will cancel out Rauner? Its the equivelant of anti matter. Look out Illinois.

  27. - Whatever - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    ==Rauner could’ve used this guy a couple of months ago.==

    Hey, I have something in common with the governor. (I suspect we all do in this area.)

  28. - MSIX - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    =Hud Englehart: “First, the best crisis antidote is to tell it all and tell it fast.”=

    Unless you’re an Experion exec. Then the antidote is “sell it all and sell it fast.”

  29. - Skeptic - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    What Illinois politician is going to come out and say,”the states broken and cant be fixed.” None of them of course because it’s simply not true.

  30. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    I suspected Charles Thomas was being lined up for a top flack gig with Rauner. I thought that was the point of his letter on the IPI cartoon.

  31. - David - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    Rauner has created a crisis and now it’s a great opportunity for the democrats.

  32. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:35 am:

    I thought Rauner thrives on crisis and uses it to his advantage. What may have worked for him in the business world has been a monumental and destructive failure in government.

  33. - Liberty - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    Leverage failure = crisis
    crisis // hype
    hype * Dvotadvant

    ##overflow error## Contract crisis management help support desk

  34. - Piece of Work - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    Hud is far more than a crises expert. Go look up his bio and his vast experience in PR and Communications.

    He is an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern and teaches that one class.

  35. - Ghost - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 12:05 pm:

    You have to apprricate the Rauner recently employed pretty much the exact opposits of each of the crisis management tips.

    Which is weird becuase he had a “think” tank driving his methodolgy.

  36. - Stuck on the Third Floor - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 12:12 pm:

    I wonder, is this hire aimed at the general crisis created by past actions, or a pointed attempt to get ahead of something yet unknown. Like whatever reason Murashko had for leaving early.

  37. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 12:13 pm:

    So the crisis guy had been on the payroll for months?

    Heckuva job, Huddy, lol.

  38. - jimk849 - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    This sounds like it is right out of the movie Twins. Julius would have numbered crisis solutions to bail Vincent out of trouble. Maybe they got the idea from the Schwarzenegger administration.

  39. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 12:18 pm:

    Maybe this hire is orchestrating “Purge II, This Time I’m Sorry”

    Wonder if the this Crisis Manager looked around at the IPI people and emailed Diana Rauner, writing…

    “You wanted these guys to help your brand? Diana, if these guys stay any longer, you won’t have a brand.”

    - Fake Email to Fake Diana Rauner email address

    The comedy factor alone, Diana, Bruce, the Crisis Expert…

    “Diana. Bruce. You took this crisis created opportunity too far for your brand. Now you hired a demolition crew to build? Maybe you need more than a Crisis Manager, you may need to rethink what you actually stand for and who you are”

    - Fake Crisis Manager

  40. - Macbeth - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 12:35 pm:

    To Update #2:

    I thought the first rule of Crisis Management is to tell it all and tell it fast.

    So, yeah, been on the payroll for months? Announcing it now?

    That’s creating the crisis.

    What Rauner needs isn’t crisis management. It’s someone with a brain. Someone smart.

  41. - Norseman - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 12:35 pm:

    Been a consultant for months? Kind of proves the point that crisis communication advice is not an answer for the problem.

  42. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 12:37 pm:

    Where has Englehart been getting paid from? No hits on the comptroller database.

  43. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 12:42 pm:

    Reading the sound guidance of Bruce’s new crisis-control expert, one realizes that up until now the governor seems to have been following exactly the opposite advice.

    Long-time CapFax readers know that he has been doing precisely that.

    • Harry Hillaker describing OODA Loops: “The key is to obscure your intentions and make them unpredictable to your opponent while you simultaneously clarify his intentions. That is, operate at a faster tempo to generate rapidly changing conditions that inhibit your opponent from adapting or reacting to those changes and that suppress or destroy his awareness. Thus, a hodgepodge of confusion and disorder occur to cause him to over- or under-react to conditions or activities that appear to be uncertain, ambiguous, or incomprehensible. *** In very simple terms, be unpredictable.”

    • Robert Greene, OODA and You: “The proper mindset is to let go a little, to allow some of the chaos to become part of his mental system, and to use it to his advantage by simply creating more chaos and confusion for the opponent. He funnels the inevitable chaos of the battlefield in the direction of the enemy.”

    Just ask anybody (else) wearing a Carhartt jacket, Bruce — the chickens eventually come home to roost.

    – MrJM

  44. - Anon221 - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 12:53 pm:

    It would be interesting to know under what fund(s) he was being paid, or if it wasn’t him directly, was it Beacon Advisors? I tried doing some searches on the Comptroller’s site, but either he’s not listed or I’m just not trying to access the correct database searches. Maybe someone can come up with this public information.

  45. - Free Set of Steak Knives - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 1:18 pm:

    To Update #2:

    Which leads us right to point 4: you can’t talk your way out of trouble.

    Rauner needs a crisis management leader, not a crisis communications leader.

    First Rule: When you’ve put yourself into a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.

  46. - TopHatMonocle - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    Does Rauner now need a new crisis management consultant to manage the crisis of using tax dollars to pay for his other crisis management consultant? It’s crises all the way down…

  47. - Norseman - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 1:40 pm:

    Ahern tweeted that he’s getting $12,500 per month and gets to still teach at NU. Deploy the response for the crisis over paying a crisis communicator big bucks to deal with crises initiated by an incompetent boss.

  48. - Anon221 - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 1:42 pm:

    Based on some of Englehart’s consulting work, he may have been hired to keep the spin going, rather than try and “reform” Rauner-

    Both More and Englehart are mentioned here-

  49. - SAP - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 2:10 pm:

    To update #2: I can’t think Hud wanted that to get out. To borrow a phrase, that is bad for his brand.

  50. - George - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 3:21 pm:

    “Months”? Yikes. That’s not going to help the CV.

  51. - walker - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 3:22 pm:

    Boy that’s an awful lot of high paid senior staff, especially since they are focused on campaign image.

  52. - Albany Park Patriot - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 3:51 pm:

    It’s a great administration where all you heard talk about is personnel decisions, and nothing about accomplishments. Oh yeah, milkweed.

  53. - Chicago PR Guy - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 4:58 pm:

    I know Hud. We worked at the same firm decades ago.

    His bio wasn’t crisis and he wasn’t known for his ability with the media. He’s a corporate PR guy. The less complicated the issue, the better he does. He got the job at Medill because a friend is there. Not a talent that has the depth to effect meaningful change IMO.

  54. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 5:29 pm:

    The Sun-Times got ahold of the governor’s office organizational charts.

    Not a flattering story for Munger or Rasmussen.,14XRO,2HU4GC,3HUW4,1

  55. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 5:34 pm:

    To “riff” of - Wordslinger -’s grab.

    From the link.

    ===Rauner’s new communications head is Englehart, a crisis communications expert who teaches at Northwestern University. The source said Englehart had given advice to the administration prior to the purge of communications staffers in July — and that Englehart reportedly met Rauner through North Shore party circuits.===

    “… — and that Englehart reportedly met Rauner through North Shore party circuits.”

    Words fail me.

  56. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 5:42 pm:

    Again, from - Wordslinger -’s link…

    ===Newly installed communications specialist Lavinia Jurkiewicz came from Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti’s office, where some of her duties including driving the lieutenant governor. Another communications specialist, Leticia Rodriguez, was most recently a secretary in the general counsel’s office.===

    You can’t make this up. Can’t be done. No way, no how. No one would believe the story. It’s too much of a farce.

  57. - Anon221 - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 6:18 pm:

    “According to sources, Governor Rauner has hired Hud Englehart as his new Senior Communications Strategy Director. A Rauner spokesman says that Englehart, who has been consulting for Rauner since the spring according to sources, is a contract employee in the governor’s office, making $12,500 a month.”

  58. - RNUG - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 6:42 pm:

    == The state’s legislative department is also slim, with no head of House and Senate operations. ==

    Well, that explains all Rauner’s legislative successes …

  59. - Anon221 - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 6:59 pm:

    He is teaching at least one Coursera class at Northwestern. These are free and online, but we’re paying him at least $150,000 to spin for Rauner??? What a deal. /s

  60. - Anon221 - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 7:09 pm:

    In his own words….this summer’s Coursera class video assignments.

  61. - XDNR - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 7:40 pm:

    So a guy who has been a monumental failure as Governor because he intentionally created crises hires a crisis manager on the tax payers dime, how ironic…

  62. - Groundhog Day - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 8:34 pm:

    Leaves me yearning for “Dad’s Home State”.

  63. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 14, 17 @ 8:36 pm:

    - Groundhog Day -

    New episode tomorrow… Lots of rewrites in the writing room about now.

  64. - cailleach - Friday, Sep 15, 17 @ 1:24 am:

    Honeybear, I’ve been a fan a long time, but if Rauner is taking advice, he should lay low on labor. After all his created crises, how much worse will he look if he causes his agencies to practically shut down due to a labor strike? He’s finally going to have to run on his TA. He won’t get votes from ANY union households.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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