Crisis communication managers know that some scandals blow up so big, resignations won’t solve the problem. What’s needed is a housecleaning to restore trust.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki’s departure amid a scandal about care for suffering vets falls into that category, communications pros and political speechwriters agreed.
“Shinseki’s resignation is a political Band-Aid for a reputational sucking chest wound,” says Jonathan Bernstein, president of Bernstein Crisis Management. “There is no question the VA appointment-making system is horribly broken. But if I were advising the VA, I’d tell them go beyond mea culpas and promises to fix what’s broken.”
1,700 veterans never scheduled