Crisis communication lessons from Martin Shkreli

Called ‘the most hated man in America,’ the mocking tone of the pharmaceutical boss changed after he was sentenced to seven years in prison. Here’s what you can learn from his missteps.

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The saga of “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli has finally come to an end.

On Friday, Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in prison for committing fraud. In 2015, Shkreli made headlines after he raised the price of a life-saving drug for patients with AIDS by 5,000 percent—a move that earned him the title of “the most hated man in America.”

The New York Times reported:

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of at least 15 years; the defense had pushed for 12 to 18 months.

… His fraud convictions were unrelated to that episode, stemming instead from his involvement with Retrophin, a pharmaceutical company he founded in 2011, and two hedge funds he ran.

Though Shkreli definitely could have used good PR advice (had he listened to it), his trial over the last two and a half years provides several crisis lessons for communicators.

Consider these insights:

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