Apicture is worth a thousand words. In this day and age that picture can reach millions. When that picture conveys an incredible image, especially one that portrays wrongdoing, instant judge and jury effects can literally kill an innocent. And where that judgment fits an agenda, unscrupulous people take advantage. Our Good Name is a story of determined grit and perseverance in the face of sensationalism and accusations run amuck. Jack London, a Naval Aviator, led a company whose culture he developed to align closely with the culture and ethos of the military. They were drawn into a scandal of huge proportion because of an alleged but unfounded link thanks to mischievous people who abused the power of the press.
It is a story of a man and his company and how they stuck to their principles. They set out to fight the misleading and biased attacks. They spent extraordinary time and resources to present the facts and their story. The book demonstrates just how powerful getting a story before the truth can lead to demands that have wrecked careers.
Within this book London illustrates the magnitude of defending innocence against an American cultural phenomenon known as freedom of the press. He shows how the business model of journalism and the information age combine to present a force as powerful as the US military but in its own backyard.
For a company challenged by allegations of misconduct, CACI provides a firm sense of the resolve and steps necessary to present one’s side of the story. London also provides a crisis management model. But mostly London shines as an example of a leader and his company driven by principled creed and how they can survive a sensational onslaught and maintain their dignity and reputation.
If I find any flaw in the book, it is that unanswered questions remain. Of the more egregious examples of unaccountable journal-ism, this book shows behavior by a Senior Fellow at Brookings that goes unchecked. No accountability for false allegations and no corrections when presented with facts were acknowledged. The book also illustrates a couple of lawsuits that abuse civil litigation to pursue agendas of different matters. Additionally the book details a major newspaper with professional accountability lapses.
This is a good reference book for those looking at crisis management, whether for planning purposes or immediately upon entering a public relations nightmare. Any company should use this book as a reference for its crisis planning. The book provides plenty of reasons to imbed a culture of doing the right thing, a principled-based leadership style as a matter of course