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Mike 'The Reputation Doctor' Paul's Annual Top 10 List of Reputations in Crisis in 2006

Mike 'The Reputation Doctor' Paul's Annual Top 10 List of Reputations in Crisis in 2006

NEW YORK, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is Mike "The Reputation Doctor" Paul's Annual Top 10 List of Reputations in Crisis in 2006. This list is compiled by and solely the opinion of global reputation management expert Mike Paul, who is also a weekly guest in the media providing expert analysis of various reputations in crisis:

1. Donald Rumsfeld -- The now-former Defense Secretary was the stubborn and poor-listening architect of the war in Iraq, and because the U.S. has still not "won the war," he was finally asked to leave by President Bush under strong pressure from Democrats in Congress. Both the Bush administration and the U.S. as a nation have global reputations in crisis because of decisions in Iraq and Donald Rumsfeld ran the war in Iraq and tops my list this year for reputations in crisis. 2. The Duke case -- D.A. Mike Nifong charged former Duke lacrosse players Collin Finnerty, Dave Evans and Reade Seligmann with allegedly raping a stripper hired for a team party in March. The case has made both national and international headlines for many months and highlights the importance of both the court of law and the court of public opinion. All the reputations in this case have been damaged, especially D.A. Nifong, who is up for re-election and has many thinking he only took the case in an attempt to get re-elected. 3. Mel Gibson -- His drunken, anti-Semitic rant towards an L.A. police officer will blur our perception of him forever, mainly because it was not the first time he voiced similar opinions. To overcome a crisis, you must remove the root of the problem and sadly, the root has not been removed within Mel Gibson. 4. Floyd Landis -- Floyd Landis was fired by his team and his sponsors and the Tour de France no longer considered him its champion after his second doping sample tested positive for higher-than-allowable levels of testosterone. The samples contained synthetic testosterone, indicating that it came from an outside source. This was the top steroid story in the world in 2006. 5. Halliburton -- The Reputations Institute's recent survey ranked Halliburton as the corporation with the worst business reputation worldwide. This is not a good thing. Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton before becoming Vice President of The United States. Halliburton is a products and services provider to the oil and energy industries with major contracts in Iraq. 6. NYPD -- Five undercover detectives and officers fired a total of 50 shots outside a Queens strip club, killing Sean Bell and injuring his two friends. Before the shooting, Bell's vehicle hit one officer and an unmarked police car, and officers apparently thought one of Bell's companions was about to get to a gun, police have said. However, no gun was ever found on the victims. Only a few years ago, NYPD police officers shot a man named Amadou Diallo in the Bronx 41 times and he also did not have a gun. As a result, the NYPD moved from heroes to zeros in the court of public opinion. 7. Enron's Ken Kay and Jeff Skilling -- Ken Lay was found guilty on all six counts that relate to Enron fraud, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, perpetrating wire and bank fraud, and making false and misleading statements to employees at a company meeting, as well as to banks, securities analysts and corporate credit-rating agencies. He also was found guilty the same day on four other bank fraud counts in a separate case on his personal banking. In 2006, this historic case finally came to an end, but before former Enron Chairman Ken Lay could be sentenced, he died of a heart attack. However, former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling was found guilty of 19 of 28 counts against him and he is currently serving 24 years in prison. This case will go down in history as the most influential corporate case in recent history to influence both new laws regarding ethical behavior and radically changing public perception regarding unethical behavior by adding further fear of prosecution to executives' minds. Accountability is a great deterrent. 8. Michael "Kramer" Richards -- His racial rant at an L.A. comedy club was not a one-liner, but went on for several minutes. The root of this crisis is heart work and not head work or mere words. To best improve his reputation, Richards must now prove to the world with action that his heart has changed. He should also stick to comedic acting and leave stand-up comedy to the pros. The crisis has also reminded all of us that the N-word is not something to mess with. 9. Zidane -- It was the headbutt heard 'round the world! In the 110th minute of the final match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, on July 9, 2006, French soccer player Zinedine Zidane notoriously headbutted Italian soccer star Marco Materazzi in the chest. The French captain said that Materazzi had insulted him, targeting his sister and mother. The incident spawned an internet and pop-culture video frenzy referred to as the Zidane headbutt. Following the incident itself, Zidane was shown a red card by the referee, meaning he had to leave the game for his penalty. As Zidane had previously announced that he would retire from professional football after the 2006 World Cup, the headbutt became the last play ever of his illustrious career. Not a good thing for his reputation. Advice to Zidane: pro athletes in the U.S. get heckled by players and fans every week. Part of being a professional is learning to handle conflicts not just adulation. 10. Hewlett Packard -- The confrontation at Hewlett-Packard started innocently enough. Last January, the online technology site CNET published an article about the long-term strategy at HP, the company ranked No. 11 in the Fortune 500. While the piece was upbeat, it quoted an anonymous HP source and contained information that only could have come from a director. HP's former chairwoman, Patricia Dunn, told another director she wanted to know who it was; she was fed up with ongoing leaks to the media going back to CEO Carly Fiorina's tumultuous tenure that ended in early 2005. According to an internal HP e-mail, Dunn then took the extraordinary step of authorizing a team of independent electronic-security experts to spy on the January 2006 communications of the other 10 directors -- not the records of calls (or e-mails) from HP itself, but the records of phone calls made from personal accounts. That meant calls from the directors' home and their private cell phones. It was classic data-mining: Dunn's consultants weren't actually listening in on the calls -- all they had to do was look for a pattern of contacts. Dunn acted without informing the rest of the board. Her actions were now about to unleash a round of boardroom fury at one of America's largest companies and a Silicon Valley icon. Congressional hearings were called to investigate the matter and HP's reputation continues to take a major hit as trust has been severely breached at the leadership level within the corporation. Ms. Dunn: it is important to remember, the first step in crisis management is ego management.

ADVICE FOR ALL OF US: Learn from the mistakes of those above. You don't want to become a YouTube video star or plastered on the front page of the newspaper with a reputation in crisis. Why? Because Your Reputation Is Everything!

About Mike Paul

Mike Paul is editor of The Reputation Doctor blog. The Reputation Doctor is a nickname given to him by various clients he has counseled over the years. Mike's blog is located at http://www.reputationdoctor.com/. He appears regularly on Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, Court TV, ABC News, ESPN, CBS News, BBC, and others as a weekly contributor and expert in the global news regarding CEOs, political leaders, celebrities, corporations and other organizations with reputations in crisis. Mr. Paul is also president and senior counselor of MGP & Associates PR (http://www.mgppr.com/), a leading strategic public relations and reputation management firm based in New York. For interview requests, speeches, senior counseling or other business opportunities with Mr. Paul, call 212-595-8500 or email mpaul@mgppr.com.

The Reputation Doctor blog

CONTACT: Mike Paul, MGP & Associates PR, +1-212-595-8500, fax,
+1-212-504-7964, news@mgppr.com

Web site: http://www.reputationdoctor.com/
http://www.mgppr.com/

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