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A Year in Crisis: The Top Crises of 2019, Analyzed

2019 was another year fraught with corporate crises on both a national and international scale. With so much going on in our world, and the near-instantaneous news cycle that social media allows, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of organizational change that we saw this year.


While we will be focusing on some of the largest and most impactful business blunders of the past year, our observation doesn’t have to be exclusively negative. As with most downturns, there is something to be learned from these cases so that we can go into 2020 and the following years with confidence in our organization and how we operate. You’ll also see that in some of these disasters that we spotlight, that the leaders not only recover but bounce back stronger than before.


Similar to previous years, the crises we have gathered will be tested against our five key principles outlined in my book, Brand Under Fire: A New Playbook for Crisis Management in the Digital Age, along with some more conventional insights. You will have heard about most if not all of the crises we cover below, but perhaps by changing your perspective and putting yourself in the shoes of the people making the critical decisions, we can understand them in a new way.

We focused on:

  • Capital One Data Breach
  • College Admissions Scandal
  • NBA/China
  • USWNT Equal Pay

Hopefully, these articles made you think about whether or not your organization is ready for something of this scale to occur. The businesses that come out of a crisis strongest are those that are the most equipped before an event ever occurs. The best time to prepare yourself for a disaster is yesterday. Are you ready?

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