Across town two weeks later, a smaller, but
very visible, organization also downsized.
Twenty percent of their 130 employees were
let go. One entire award-winning department
was eliminated. That’s a significant downsizing.
The leaders planned well. A press release had
been prepared, and when a reporter from the
local newspaper called that afternoon, the
Executive VP took the call. He answered every
question that was asked. He talked about the
job transition service that was being provided
and offered to put the reporter in contact with
the career management specialists.
The press release was then faxed to the news-
paper first (since they called first) and then to
all the other media sources in the city. Nothing
was said about it on the evening news. Finally,
two weeks later, there was a brief article on the
third page of the newspaper’s business section.
TV and radio never mentioned it.
What made the difference? Planning, availability,
and readiness and willingness to talk directly
with the media.
You have to be prepared to deal with the media.
With so many people affected in a downsizing,
either directly or indirectly, you can count on
someone contacting the media and asking,
“Do you know what’s going on at XYZ Corp?”
Reporters will take it from there.
The Manager’s Pocket Guide to Downsizing with Confidence