Photo: Adaptation by Kim Bhasin
Best Buy screwed up, and it has experienced a slow, but brutal over the past few months. Or, as Gil Rudawsky at PR Daily so eloquently put it, a “months-long bloodletting.”The negative exposure for Best Buy in relation to former CEO Brian Dunn’s scandal has been relentless, as headlines constantly pound away at the brand’s reputation.
But it didn’t have to be this way. Best Buy just mishandled the situation, and it spiraled out of control.
At the end of last year, Best Buy founder and chairman Richard Schulze confronted Dunn about what was going on between him and a female employee. He didn’t report it to anyone else, and later, an audit committee was formed. Quietly, heads began to roll.
It still wasn’t over. Dunn left the company, and Best Buy didn’t explain exactly why. Slowly, rumours started to swirl, and everyone was looking for an explanation.
Words like “misconduct” and “scandal” were thrown around, but there was no clarity provided. Reporters scrambled to find out, and eventually everything was confirmed by an SEC filing. Best Buy finally said that Dunn left because he had an inappropriate relationship with a female employee.
It’s another PR crisis that has spiraled out of control because the company wasn’t transparent about it. It prolonged its own crisis because it was trying to keep things quiet. All that does is make people more curious, and it looks like you’re trying to hide something.
And by doing this, each related scandal came in one lengthy stream. Every few days, something new would be found, and bring attention to the brand’s failings once more.
It should have just ripped the band-aid off.
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