Steve Jobs is sick: What should Apple tell its employees?

How to maintain your CEO’s privacy—but keep employees informed—if he or she falls ill.

How to maintain your CEO’s privacy—but keep employees informed—if he or she falls ill

Steve Jobs’ illness (whatever it might be) should force all companies to ask themselves one question: Do we have a deep bench?

And it should force communicators at those companies to ask themselves the follow-up question: Are our bench players known and respected, both internally and externally?

“For Apple, it’s a little like prescribing gloves to a workman with splinters,” says Paul Dusseault, who leads the corporate practice group in Fleishman-Hillard‘s Atlanta office. But the answer to the reputational challenge, he says, is to keep senior management in the public eye through blogs, tweets, op-eds, speaking engagements, media interviews, employee town halls and so on.

All companies should do this, he says—after all, the onset of a potentially fatal illness is just one of the reputational risks a company runs by making the CEO its only public “face.”

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.