Kathryn Dill and Te-Ping Chen, The Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2020

WSJ 4-8-20

The nation is watching how New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is handling the coronavirus outbreak, and it likes what it sees. Here’s how five crisis communications experts rate and react to his leadership style.

What America needs now is a field general, says Davia Temin, head of Temin & Co., a crisis-management and reputation consulting firm.

Someone who gives you facts, statistics, someone with a thoughtful, no-holds-barred, unvarnished approach. I’m not sure that Cuomo makes a perfect peacetime general, but he’s exactly what we need in a wartime general. He’s informed, his sleeves are rolled up, he’s walking the talk. He’s not abrogating the 6-foot rule just because he’s president or prime minister.

His brother’s situation has totally humanized him. It’s both intimate storytelling and authoritative, and that’s a very hard line to walk. I’m not sure I’d want to work for him—the pressure would be unholy—but he’s taking responsibility. He’s personally been trying to get ventilators, you get a feeling this is a guy in it up to his eyeballs.

In this kind of crisis, dysfunction kills. He has engaged our trust very quickly, and we need it more than we ever have, really. […read more]