Best Practice in Announcing Bad News

The folks at FedEx have figured out a smart way to engage employees and media at the same time when they need to announce bad news. Take this blog post by CEO Fred Smith announcing pay cuts for management and a suspension of their 401 (k) match.It includes a link to their earnings announcement, a video message from Smith and it leads with a message that management is taking salary cuts, but hourly employees will not. There is no corporate spin or drivel at all.

The best part is employees aren’t reading about this in the media first. They’re given this news directly from Fred Smith. While it’s not a good message to deliver, it’s straight talk.

Other companies would do well to follow FedEx’s example of effectively communicating bad news.


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