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Eric Dezenhall
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Eric co-founded Dezenhall Resources in 1987 and today serves as the company's CEO. Prior to starting his own firm, Eric worked at an international public relations agency and a political consulting firm. Today, he is a frequent guest commentator on national public affairs programs and is widely quoted in leading news publications. Eric's first book, Nail 'em: Confronting High-Profile Attacks on Celebrities and Business, pioneered new techniques for understanding and defusing crises. Damage Control: Why Everything You Know About Crisis Management is Wrong, was co-authored with his partner, John Weber, and was released in April 2007. He is also the author of five novels, Money Wanders, Jackie Disaster, Shakedown Beach, Turnpike Flameout, and Spinning Dixie. Eric speaks frequently before groups on the news media, crisis management and popular culture.

Entries by Eric Dezenhall

All the Pretty Witches

(8) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 3:55 PM

In the vortex that swirls from today's media and legal climate, motivated authorities may not have enough to send you to jail, but they certainly have enough to ruin your life.

And they don't need much.

This week, the retrial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito begins in Florence...

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Why Managing Scandals Is Different Now

(2) Comments | Posted November 16, 2012 | 3:09 PM

Whenever a mess like the General David Petraeus affair blows up, I am asked by friends, acquaintances, students and journalists to handicap the state of play. The challenge is that no matter how hard I try, I'm lucky if I can get across one semi-cogent sound bite or bottom-line conclusion...

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Penn State and the PR Price of Sainthood

(2) Comments | Posted November 14, 2011 | 9:30 AM

The Penn State scandal not only marks the end of Coach Joe Paterno's brilliant career, it is the death knell for the old crisis management canard that a good reputation is a bulwark against future bad news.

Not anymore. Not in the face of the two-headed monster...

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Stanley Bing's "Morals" Pierce Corporate Treacle

(3) Comments | Posted April 27, 2011 | 12:57 PM

The public relations craft proved again a few days ago why its practitioners may be the most overestimated tradesmen at work in the business and political culture.

Long criticized for its fabled feats of brainwashing alchemy and mass manipulation, a Florida unemployment agency came under fire for spending more...

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The Bush Biography as Damage Control

(11) Comments | Posted November 10, 2010 | 2:38 PM

A popular rant among book critics is that autobiographies are acts of vengeance in which the writer gets to publicly strike back at his enemies for eternity.

There's something to that, but in recent years, autobiographies by public figures have increasingly become exercises in damage control. The...

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Waiting for Lucky Luciano

(3) Comments | Posted October 22, 2010 | 4:11 PM

If you ever want to really tick off organized-crime junkies at a book signing, tell them that their favorite mobster died nearly broke.

I have made this point more than once while on book tours talking about my crime novels. The reaction I get is the New Jersey equivalent...

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Seeking Vindication in the Media Crisis Vortex

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2010 | 4:53 PM

In the last few days, new lawsuits have been launched against Toyota associated with reports that its cars involuntarily rocket out of control. Against this backdrop, I asked an audience of corporate executives during a speech how many of them were aware that Toyota had been vindicated, at least in...

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Crashing Nowhere: The Salahis' Interminable Exit

(1) Comments | Posted January 5, 2010 | 3:43 PM

Ever since Tareq and Michaele Salahi inflicted themselves on the American immune system when they crashed the White House state dinner last November, I have become transfixed by the hold that these spectacularly unspectacular people have on the rest of us. More than a month later, barely a day goes...

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A Salvage Job in Tiger's America

(9) Comments | Posted December 13, 2009 | 5:21 PM

As the golf ball in the Tiger Woods morass bounces on, let us pause to dispense with the community college PR course clichés about how the answer to Tiger's woes would have been an immediate Tell-it-to-Oprah-Two-Step. The cold truth of crisis management is that "telling your side of the story"...

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Stop Using America's Top 40 for Torture

(2) Comments | Posted October 23, 2009 | 6:37 PM

The Washington Post today reported that a handful of musicians including R.E.M., Pearl Jam and Roseanne Cash have filed a Freedom of Information Act request that the military release the names of the songs that were played in the torture of terror suspects in Guantanamo. Coming on the heels...

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Pentagon Caught, uh, Promoting Its Interests

(2) Comments | Posted September 1, 2009 | 3:58 PM

In what may mark the official demise of investigative journalism, a story "broke" online late last week revealing that the Pentagon was "profiling" reporters covering the war in Afghanistan. The piece had the whiff of a targeted assassination program or white vans tailing reporters' kids to kindergarten just in case...

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The Antidote to Baseball's Steroids Scandal is Performance (Mostly)

(1) Comments | Posted August 6, 2009 | 12:44 PM

In an age when confidential information is as confidential as the click of a mouse, barely a day goes by when a sports fan's trust isn't betrayed by a freshly-leaked report about a record-breaking Major League Baseball player's steroid use. The Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz is the latest slugger...

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"Corruption Shtick" in the Garden State

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2009 | 1:00 PM

When last week's sweeping FBI roundup netted a handful of venal New Jersey politicians and kidney-pilfering, Prada handbag-counterfeiting rabbis, Governor John Corzine let loose with an equally sweeping condemnation:

"Any corruption is unacceptable - anywhere, anytime, by anybody. The scale of corruption we're seeing as this unfolds is simply outrageous...

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Michael Vick in the Theater of Redemption

(38) Comments | Posted July 25, 2009 | 11:58 AM

Michael Vick just got sprung from jail and is looking for a job quarterbacking an NFL team. Commissioner Roger Goodell is on the verge of deciding whether to let Vick back into the League and under what conditions given the fallout from sickening dog-fighting charges two years ago. Vick met...

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Steve Jobs and the Dividends of Secrecy

(1) Comments | Posted July 13, 2009 | 4:39 PM

Steve Jobs has quietly returned to his desk after a six-month absence and a liver transplant. Despite episodic rants about Jobs' penchant for secrecy in our age of evangelical cries for "transparency," the Apple CEO's turbo-charged sense of discretion has served him brilliantly, to the apoplectic horror of governance pundits...

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Palin, Sanford and the Art of Spontaneous Combustion

(12) Comments | Posted July 6, 2009 | 1:16 PM

This week, self-immolation gold medalist, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, edged out former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer by thirteen months on the Olympic stopwatch.

Now quivering at the flameout victory dais is Alaska Governor Sarah Palin whose oddly-reasoned resignation will likely suck up some of Sanford's oxygen. How...

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Disrespecting the Bing

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2009 | 2:13 PM

Yesterday, Microsoft announced a new search engine called "Bing." Fortune magazine columnist Stanley Bing followed with a press release expressing his "moderate outrage" over his name and "brand" being appropriated by the software giant, and offering his services as a corporate spokesperson in lieu of a lawsuit.

Bing is...

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The Criminalization of Risk and the Coming Flack Attack

(4) Comments | Posted March 16, 2009 | 2:19 PM

As the swindle of the ages inches closer to its denouement, reporters covering financial scandals -- and a few friends -- have asked me, "What could somebody like you have done for Bernie Madoff?"

My business is crisis communications, which has often meant handling the public...

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Waiting for Blago: A Tale of Corruption Nostalgia

(2) Comments | Posted December 14, 2008 | 8:52 PM

Remember "Money talks, bullshit walks?"

I do. It was 1980, the time of ABSCAM, the sting operation that brought down a U.S. senator, six congressmen and other gentry in and around my ancestral home, South Jersey. It was the time of Michael "Ozzie" Myers, the former longshoreman and barkeep, who,...

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Carmen Electrism and John Edwards' Moment of Truth

(5) Comments | Posted August 20, 2008 | 2:17 PM

Since John Edwards admitted to an extramarital affair, the aftermarket media buzz has been rife with the requisite exclamations of "what was he thinking" and "men are idiots when it comes to sex." This logic assumes that because the affair was sexual, the primary catalyst for Edwards' relationship with Rielle...

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