Masters of Disaster Book Summary - Masters of Disaster Book explained in key points

Masters of Disaster summary

Christopher Lehane, Mark Fabiani and Bill Guttentag

The Ten Commandments of Damage Control

13 mins
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    Masters of Disaster
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    Publicized crises are increasingly common in modern society.

    When you hear the word crisis, what springs to mind? A plane crash? A bank collapse? Yet a crisis could be less overt, but equally troublesome: an organization’s security protocol could be breached or a high profile figure could be misquoted on an important issue.

    If we think about crises this way, we can see that they happen every single day. Today, several social and technological developments have unfortunately made crises the “normal state of nature.” In our information age, virtually everyone with a smartphone can break news. Every stray comment and  poor decision can immediately be shared across the world at lightning speed.

    Say a risque joke at the office party and within minutes it’s viral across the company. A businessman criticizes his staff to a journalist, and in no time at all, it’s plastered all over the news feeds of his employees, shareholders and customers.

    In this way, the news we receive and share via social media tends to be selective and biased. Simply through the sheer wealth of different sources of information online (social media, news sites, blogs etc.), it is increasingly easy to find news to fit your existing beliefs.

    So, major crises can be created by people who naively think what they’ve heard is true and spread the false information online. Remember those claims that President Obama was not born in the USA? They were widely proliferated by Republicans and led to crisis-fed journalism, even though they were complete nonsense.

    Once misinformation goes public, it’s hard to restore one’s reputation. But it’s been done. In the next blinks, you’ll learn how.

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    What is Masters of Disaster about?

    Masters of Disaster takes you on a journey through a crisis that characterizes today’s information age. Drawing on damage control operations, the authors have developed the ten commandments to help any politician, celebrity or company avoid scandal and a tarnished reputation.

    Best quote from Masters of Disaster

    Fact: According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, trust in information from self-selected social media sites reached 75 percent.

    —Christopher Lehane, Mark Fabiani and Bill Guttentag
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    Who should read Masters of Disaster?

    • Anyone in a public-facing role
    • Anyone whose work depends on the audience’s trust
    • Anyone who hopes to one day become an elected official

    About the Author

    Bill Guttentag is an Oscar winning director of numerous programs for TV networks including ABC and HBO, and documentaries including Nanking and Soundtrack. He is also a lecturer at the Graduate School of Stanford University.

    Christopher Lehane and Mark Fabiani are damage control experts who have worked for various high-level individuals and companies, including Bill Clinton. They both graduated from Harvard Law School and specialize in the art of damage control.

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