AT&T and Novartis want to put the toothpaste back into the proverbial tube.
The companies made financial arrangements, through Donald Trump’s longtime fixer Michael Cohen, to curry favor with the newly installed Trump administration, one devoid of traditional D.C. lobbying ties.
Now, with Cohen under investigation by special prosecutor Robert Mueller, the companies are backtracking, removing executives who brokered the deals and apologizing to employees and customers.
Along the way, they’re delivering positive and negative examples of crisis communication.
A party line
AT&T’s current CEO wrote a note to employees admitting that the deal with Cohen was a mistake—an internal memo that quickly found its way into public circulation.
“Our company has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons these last few days and our reputation has been damaged,” Mr. Stephenson wrote in a memo to employees. “There is no other way to say it — AT&T hiring Michael Cohen as a political consultant was a big mistake.”