All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

Avow or Avoid?: The Public Communication Strategies of Enron and WorldCom
Unformatted Document Text:  Avow or Avoid? 17 USA Today (Valdmanis & Backover, June 27, 2002; Maney, June 28, 2002) portrayed CEO Sidgmore as a white knight and fired CFO Sullivan as the primary culprit. “[Sullivan] allegedly admitted that, at the end of each quarter, he changed the books so that more assets were written off over longer periods of time” (Valdmanis & Backover, June 27, 2002, para. 12). The shifting blame strategy was conveyed in USA Today’s June 28 article. Sidgmore has spent the past two days trying to soothe bankers, customers and employees and explaining the disclosure Tuesday that the telecommunications company improperly accounted for $3.9 billion in costs. …Sidgmore has barely slept, and his cellphone is glued to his ear as he dishes out answers. But he can’t explain why this happened or why, he says, fired chief financial officer Scott Sullivan fidged the books to make WorldCom’s finances look better than they were. “There is no evidence there was pressure on Scott to do this. It’s just odd,” Sidgmore says (Maney, June 28, 2002, para. 4). Coverage in the Washington Times of June 27, 2002 evidenced legal tactics of stalling as it quoted WorldCom spokesman Peter Lucht saying that specifics about the anticipated layoffs was “not something we’re prepared to talk about” (Glanz, June 27, 2002, para. 8). Additionally, the Washington Times noted: “Most local employees would not comment. Yesterday they received an e-mail instructing them not to talk to reporters and to refer all questions to WorldCom’s public affairs office” (Glanz, June 27, 2002, para. 10). Requesting employees to refer reporters to a single spokesperson or office is not a strictly legal strategy, it is good crisis communication management. Nevertheless, it does indicate a lack of openness or transparency. On June 29, 2002, the Los Angeles Times included quotes from Sidgmore’s open letter to President Bush noting WorldCom executives’ “surprise and outrage” (Kaplan, June 29, 2002). It also quoted a WorldCom attorney pledging “…the company’s cooperation with the regulators and law enforcement agencies investigating the scandal” (Kaplan, June 29, 2002, para. 9). The attorney, Paul Curnin, also evidenced the company’s openness by saying, “The company brought this voluntarily to the SEC itself within days of learning of the shocking events… We’re happy to cooperate with the SEC, the U.S. attorney and Congress” (Kaplan, June 29, 2002, para. 10). Pre- and post-bankruptcy rhetoric

Authors: Reber, Bryan. and Gower, Karla.
first   previous   Page 17 of 30   next   last



background image
Avow or Avoid?
17
USA Today (Valdmanis & Backover, June 27, 2002; Maney, June 28, 2002) portrayed
CEO Sidgmore as a white knight and fired CFO Sullivan as the primary culprit. “[Sullivan]
allegedly admitted that, at the end of each quarter, he changed the books so that more assets were
written off over longer periods of time” (Valdmanis & Backover, June 27, 2002, para. 12). The
shifting blame strategy was conveyed in USA Today’s June 28 article.
Sidgmore has spent the past two days trying to soothe bankers,
customers and employees and explaining the disclosure Tuesday that the
telecommunications company improperly accounted for $3.9 billion in costs.
…Sidgmore has barely slept, and his cellphone is glued to his ear as he dishes
out answers. But he can’t explain why this happened or why, he says, fired chief
financial officer Scott Sullivan fidged the books to make WorldCom’s finances
look better than they were. “There is no evidence there was pressure on Scott to
do this. It’s just odd,” Sidgmore says (Maney, June 28, 2002, para. 4).
Coverage in the Washington Times of June 27, 2002 evidenced legal tactics of stalling as
it quoted WorldCom spokesman Peter Lucht saying that specifics about the anticipated layoffs
was “not something we’re prepared to talk about” (Glanz, June 27, 2002, para. 8). Additionally,
the Washington Times noted: “Most local employees would not comment. Yesterday they
received an e-mail instructing them not to talk to reporters and to refer all questions to
WorldCom’s public affairs office” (Glanz, June 27, 2002, para. 10). Requesting employees to
refer reporters to a single spokesperson or office is not a strictly legal strategy, it is good crisis
communication management. Nevertheless, it does indicate a lack of openness or transparency.
On June 29, 2002, the Los Angeles Times included quotes from Sidgmore’s open letter to
President Bush noting WorldCom executives’ “surprise and outrage” (Kaplan, June 29, 2002). It
also quoted a WorldCom attorney pledging “…the company’s cooperation with the regulators
and law enforcement agencies investigating the scandal” (Kaplan, June 29, 2002, para. 9). The
attorney, Paul Curnin, also evidenced the company’s openness by saying, “The company brought
this voluntarily to the SEC itself within days of learning of the shocking events… We’re happy
to cooperate with the SEC, the U.S. attorney and Congress” (Kaplan, June 29, 2002, para. 10).
Pre- and post-bankruptcy rhetoric


Convention
All Academic Convention makes running your annual conference simple and cost effective. It is your online solution for abstract management, peer review, and scheduling for your annual meeting or convention.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 17 of 30   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.