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Temin and Co.

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"Gynecologist’s Actions Bring Down USC’s President" 

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"Harassment Claims Cost Wynn Resorts its Leader" 

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"NBC News Faces Questions After Lauer Firing" 

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"Equifax Hit With Massive Reputation Breach" 

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"Fujifilm Addresses Accounting Problems" 

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"Hacked Twitter Account Gives McDonald’s Indigestion" 

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"Qualcomm Chips Away at South Korea Probe" 

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"Tyson Finds Itself in Game of Reputation Chicken" 

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"Delta Grounded After Computer Crash" 

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"Signet Confronts Diamond Debacles" 

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"NFL Goes for Knockout Against New York Times" 

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"OSI Fights Back In China" 

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"Tesla Slams the Brakes on Seat Belt Problem" 

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"United Airlines Faces Turbulence Amid Federal Probe" 

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 "Accounting Problems Hobble Toshiba" 

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 "Kiss-and-Tell Fears After Adult Friend Finder Breach" 

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"Ice Cream Recall Snags Blue Bell" 

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"Williams, NBC Between Iraq and a Hard Place" 

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"Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut" 

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"How Well Did Tesco Account for Itself?" 

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In the News

Sexual harassment allegations are down sharply since Harvey Weinstein first accused

Megan Cerullo, CBS News, June 19, 2019

6-19-19 CBS News

Good news, perhaps, for victims of harassment in the workplace. The number of highly publicized #MeToo accusations dropped to the lowest level last month since peaking in October 2017, when former Hollywood studio chief Harvey Weinstein was first accused of sexual harassment. That's according to the "#MeToo Index," which tracks what it calls "high-profile" accusations of sexual misconduct in entertainment, media, politics and other employment sectors.

Twelve such accusations surfaced in May, down from 143 in October 2017, according to Temin and Company, a corporate reputation management and public relations firm that maintains the #MeToo Index. Temin attributes the steep drop in public accusations to a combination of factors, including companies' improved internal reporting systems and procedures for handling complaints.

"Organizations have become more savvy, so when they hear complaints they are quicker to investigate, address and handle them in some way, as opposed to ignore them," Davia Temin, the firm's CEO, said. [...read more]

Sexual Harassment Reports in Steep Decline After #MeToo Peak

Jeff Green, Bloomberg, June 17, 2019

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Public accusations of corporate misbehavior and harassment have fallen to their lowest level since October 2017, when allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein sparked the #MeToo movement.

Twelve complaints generated media coverage in May compared with a peak of 143 last October, according to data compiled by crisis consultant Temin and Co.

There are lots of reasons the pace of allegations has slowed, said Davia Temin. The initial outpouring included decades worth of historical revelations, clearing a kind of backlog. The news cycle has also moved on, and companies have gotten more sophisticated in the way they manage both bad behavior and negative PR. [...read more]

‘A new era’: Trump and 2020 hopefuls are singling out more American companies by name

Jena McGregor, The Washington Post, June 13, 2019

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On Monday, after Raytheon and United Technologies announced merger plans, President Trump weighed in again with an opinion about American corporate business decisions, telling CNBC he was "a little concerned" the defense contractor and industrial technology giant's merger could result in less competition if they become "one big fat beautiful company." It was the latest in a long string of examples of Trump — whether by tweet or by tirade — singling out American companies.

But the president has been joined more often in recent months by 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who are also increasingly calling out companies by name, directly challenging American businesses in a way that historians and communication experts say underscores a new era.

Communications experts advised companies not to get into Twitter wars, to be responsive but not respond in kind, and to prioritize connecting with White House or legislative staffers early on when making announcements that could come under fire. In most cases, companies should use the opportunity to explain their story or strategy again rather than fight.

"Don't escalate, don't shoot back," said Davia Temin, a communications and management coach on reputation issues. "The last thing an awful lot of people want is a one-upmanship match between the president or presidential candidates and an individual company." [...read more]

The Doyenne of ‘Courage’ in Crisis

Bridget Paverd, PRSA, May 13, 2019

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I spent a morning in New York City with Davia Temin last week.

While respectful of the knowledge of others, and always open to learning, there are just so many accomplished professionals that I am seldom blown away meeting a specialized superstar.

Davia is an exception.

Davia and I discussed crisis as we see it now, in 2019.... A world of 'alternative facts' and the MeToo movement. We shared war stories. I wanted to write down every word she said – she was so generous with advice. We talked about the value of the truth. And of listening. Of "hearing" both clients and audiences and moving our clients into recovery as quickly as possible.

Davia Temin has shaped, and continues to define, contemporary crisis communication. All of us who work in reputation management have been influenced by her leadership. Even those who don't know her name follow her best practices. Barely a month goes by that she is not quoted in major media. [...read more]

Marketing Lessons From Chase Bank’s Twitter Blowup

Bill Streeter, The Financial Brand, May 9, 2019

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Nation's biggest bank sets off a Twitter explosion with an edgy motivation tweet, suggesting people make their own coffee to save money. A few people supported the bank, but it was a rough week as the media and politicians piled on. What can other financial institutions learn from this social media nightmare? Some pointed advice from bank marketing experts.

Reputation and crisis-management consultant Davia Temin put it a little more bluntly in response to questions from The Financial Brand: "This was a case of a big bank being targeted and used to make a political point. Politicians pounced on a Chase marketing tweet that was a little Millennial, but essentially harmless."

"I think the tone for financial institutions — and all of us — needs to be inspirational, aspirational, kind and witty. It's the best way, and also much harder to attack. I might have suggested a Twitter response that was both light and serious, like this: 'We clearly must not have had our morning coffee today — we are so sorry, and never meant to offend anyone with our morning tweet. Our goal was only to help suggest ways we can all save on the small things in order to reach big dreams'." [...read more]

Temps at the top

Nancy Marshall-Genzer, Marketplace, April 23, 2019

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Right now, the Trump administration has acting heads at the Defense Department, Homeland Security, the Small Business Administration, and the Office of Management and Budget. By the time you finish reading this story, there could be more. And that's just the way President Trump likes it, as he told CBS's "Face the Nation" in February.

"I like 'acting' because I can move so quickly," he said. "It gives me more flexibility."

It's the kind of flexibility that's increasingly on display in the private sector. Intel appointed Robert Swan as interim CEO last June. Last month, Wells Fargo announced that its general counsel, C. Allen Parker, would become interim CEO and president. J. Crew, Comscore and Herbalife have also brought on interim CEOs this year.

Davia Temin coaches interim executives. She says they have a tough job.

"You've got the title — almost," she said. "You've got the responsibility — almost. You are acting as if you are the CEO, but when it comes to long-term strategy and planning and action and vision and mission, you don't have that nod." [...read more]

 

The Fixer

Dora Mekouar, VOA Connect, April 12, 2019

Davia Temin is featured in this Voice of America Connect story with reporting by Dora Mekouar. In this video she shares the story behind her woman-owned crisis and reputation management firm and the different tools firms and people can use when faced with catastrophe. [...read more]

Is Wells Fargo stuck in the denial stage of recovery?

Kate Berry, American Banker, April 7, 2019

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Since Wells Fargo's phony-accounts scandal broke in 2016, the bank's public and private reactions have diverged significantly.

After an initial bout of blame directed at the thousands of employees who opened the fake accounts in an effort to meet aggressive sales goals, the bank pivoted to a public position of contrition, saying it was dedicated to fixing its corporate culture to ensure nothing like that could happen again. That line was offered by then-CEO Tim Sloan last month when he testified to Congress, in which he said the bank had made significant progress in atoning for its mistakes.

Yet in private, bank executives and many rank-and-file employees have taken the view that the bank's problems are largely not of its own making and have been overblown by overbearing regulators, scoop-hungry reporters, hostile members of Congress, and a system that has put its actions under an (unfair) microscope.

In short, the bank has appeared to be in denial that it has a problem at all, some argue.

"Denial is one of the hardest issues for a company to address after a crisis," said Davia Temin, president and CEO of management consulting firm Temin and Company. "It's not over just because Wells is ready for it to be over." [...read more]

'A Tremendous Insult:' Boardroom Leaks Irk Directors

Amanda Gerut, Agenda, April 1, 2019

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Leaks of information about CEO hires, potential acquisitions and boardroom deliberations about executives accused of misconduct have become an increasingly acute concern as more activists, first-time directors and directors with varying business backgrounds join boards.

The spread of confidential information about boardroom discussions is an evergreen source of disquiet among directors. But as more boards contend with messy, difficult issues about company culture, for instance, dissent and rifts can sometimes lead to directors' turning to outside sources to influence decisions. Staying abreast of group dynamics such as distinct majorities and minorities in votes, directors who feel their views aren't being heard and general board dysfunction that can breed an environment in which directors might turn to the press or social media to air their views is important in maintaining an open — but confidential — atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the issue of information seeping out before a board has decided to formally communicate remains a frustration for directors.

Most boardrooms, like a therapist's office or a confessional, are considered "sacrosanct," says Davia Temin, president and CEO of reputation, risk and crisis management firm Temin and Company. However, that confidentiality can break down in certain situations. For instance, leaks can occur when a director tries to influence a board decision and isn't successful. In frustration, a director might turn to the press to put external pressure on the board to get directors to vote a certain way. Activist investors may feel an allegiance to their firm or other outside parties, or founders could disagree with other board members and leak information to try to sway investors to their side. Confidentiality can also break down in a crisis, Temin says.

Still, "even in this world of social media and transparency, boardroom deliberations really do need to be opaque," she says. [...read more]

Board of Managers Profile: Davia Temin on #MeToo, Business, and Finding Her Path

Bayliss Wagner, The Phoenix, April 1, 2019

4 1 19 The Phoenix Board of Managers Profile

Board of Managers member Davia Temin '74 arrived at Swarthmore the year that the college first operated without some of the parietal rules it had held since its founding in 1864.

"It was a time of great change for women, for men, for the sexes. You know, right before my class, you couldn't have the door shut with a member of the opposite sex in your room. We all made fun of it. There was this rule that you had to have three feet on the ground, meaning, you can't get in the bed. Well, there's the floor. Who's gonna count?"

Temin is assertive and cavalier — in other words, she is everything society trains women not to be but praises men for. She ranks her time at Swarthmore as one of the most, if not the most, influential experience in her life, alongside a near-fatal car crash that left her with "a huge amount of metal" in her leg and her taxi driver dead in 2005 and an encounter she had with the Dalai Lama that helped her decide to leave Wall Street. And she is emphatic about gender equity.

Temin advocates for what she calls "top-down" change as a trustee or board member of several governing boards such as the Girl Scouts Board of Trustees, Harvard Kennedy School Women's Leadership Board, Columbia Journalism School's Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Business and Journalism, WomenCorporateDirectors, and the Columbia University Women Creating Change Leadership Council.

"Companies often say, 'well there are not enough women in the pipeline to be able to move them up," she said. "They've been saying that for twenty years. There are a lot of women in the pipeline...you just have to look in untraditional places." [...read more]

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