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Harlan Loeb
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Harlan Loeb is Professor of Crisis & the Court of Public Opinion at Northwestern Law School and Global Chair of Edelman’s Crisis & Risk Group.

Entries by Harlan Loeb

Truth and Trust Under Siege: Do We Care?

(2) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 4:42 PM

NBC's escalating crisis surrounding respected news anchor Brian Williams' fabrication of details about his reporting from Iraq in 2003. The deal Twitter just struck with Google to make tweets more searchable online. These two events should open a new referendum on the relationship between truth and trust in...

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A Year of Wrestling With Risk in a Disruptive World

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 5:28 PM

2014 sparked an array of unprecedented, frightening and devastating events -- from the prolonged Ebola outbreak, the kidnappings of hundreds of Nigerian girls and the disappearance of two airlines in Asian seas to massive and destructive data breaches and the ISIS beheadings. Increasingly, our world appears to be more volatile...

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The University of Virginia and the Risky Illusion of Validity

(1) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 4:48 PM

As events continue to unfold at the University of Virginia, we are seeing a common element form in the actions and response from each of the major players involved: the illusion of validity.

Coined by Nobel-Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman, "the illusion of validity" is a cognitive bias that...

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Past Is Prologue: Crisis Risk Management Begins Inside

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 4:37 PM

In the last 15 years, nearly all major crises suffered from a breakdown in meaningful internal controls, corporate values and poor leadership. Often, the scale of the crisis - and even the crisis itself - was avoidable if corporate values fostered a proactive approach to crisis and risk management or...

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BP and the Cost of Reputational Debt

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 8:24 PM

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected BP's attempt to halt payments to affected businesses while the oil giant appeals its 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster settlement. While legitimate questions arise about the formula used to determine payment eligibility for businesses submitting claims, BP simply does not possess reputational permission...

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Cybercrime's First CEO Casualty: Avoidable Error

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 12:26 PM

It was inevitable -the first resignation of a Fortune 100 chairman and CEO in the wake of a serious security breach. Target CEO Gregg Steinhaffel got the hook! Though the pundits insist other key drivers triggered his resignation, the reputational debt Target sparked in its mishandling of the largest retail...

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Private Regulation: Risk or Opportunity for Global Business?

(2) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 2:44 PM

As trust in government rapidly declines, expectations of global business to address and, in many cases, solve social problems are sharply escalating. Coupled with the rise in influence of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), regulatory governance is moving swiftly away from the province of government and turning to a delicate dance between...

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Governance Challenge: The Board's Role in Crisis and Risk Management

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 1:18 PM

Recent data security breaches at the some of the nation's largest retailers prove that available technology solutions to guard against cyber theft are not keeping pace with the capabilities of the hackers. What's more troubling is that according to the Ponemon Institute, an organization that studies data privacy and security,...

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A Year of Critical Thinking in a Distracted World

(1) Comments | Posted January 1, 2014 | 11:46 AM

As we catapult into 2014, perhaps the most important ballad we should play is "Where has all the critical thinking gone?"

Considerable academic research demonstrates that with the advent and explosion of social media, most of us use this powerful tool to cocoon ourselves in our existing and unchallenged...

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The Fed Has a Language Challenge

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 6:21 PM

As Janet Yellen prepares to be the next Fed Chair, a laundry list of questions on her priority list and others await her. The next several years likely will prove turbulent. Advising her as a lawyer-gone-public-strategist and decidedly not as an economist, I urge Ms. Yellen to take on the...

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Habits Must Change: Reputational Crisis Readiness is a Strategic Must

(0) Comments | Posted November 16, 2013 | 1:47 PM

Freshfields, among the United Kingdom's five top Magic Circle law firms, recently released a highly informative, if not frightening, survey on "Containing a Crisis in the Digital Age." Among the many alarming findings, these stand out:

• 28 percent of crises spread internationally within one hour and 69...

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Corporate Accountability -- Beyond the Corporate Checkbook

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 5:42 PM

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) joined the Securities and Exchange Commission and some federal courts this week in a significant pivot in corporate accountability in legal settlements. The CFTC insisted that JPMorgan Chase make a public admission of accountability in connection with the London Whale trading...

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Reputation Risk Management -- It's Time to Build Trust and Resilience at the Top

(1) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 2:47 PM

Who would have imagined? At a time when the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbs above 15,000 for the first time and investor euphoria persists, trust in companies and their CEOs ranks near or at record lows. In this case, "rank" can serve as an adjective, too. Investors even have turned...

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