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Business Outlook

Before COVID-19 took over the 24/7 news cycle, public relations nightmares à la Boeing, WeWork, and Theranos were fodder for the type of headlines the business world feared most. Rather than the word “coronavirus,” it was phrases like “whistleblower complaint” and “data breach” that sent shudders down the spines of corporate boards and C-suites from coast-to-coast.

While the current pandemic is sure to dominate our collective headspace for the foreseeable future, corporate PR debacles of the “ordinary” kind—read: fraud, shareholder disputes, employment and #MeToo issues, etc.—will regain their place in the news before we know it. Until then, there is a lot to be learned from certain of our federal and state governments that have been caught seemingly flat-footed by—and in some cases unprepared for—our current health care and economic disaster. The most basic lesson: Advanced crisis management planning, stress testing, and strategy are critical for any entity that could find itself staring down the barrel of a catastrophe, no matter the scale.

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