Three things we crisis managers learn early on is the mantra: Tell It All, Tell It Early, Tell It Yourself, which has been repeated so often it’s almost a cliché, but it works! I would add one more: NO MASKS ON COMMUNICATIONS, JUST OVER NOSES AND MOUTHS!
When a crisis rears its ugly head, like the humongous one in China now spreading its deadly wings worldwide, causing panic and devastating stock markets, it’s still damn good advice. I’d say it’s entirely applicable in dealing with the biggest crisis to rock the world since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.
China’s apparent delayed reaction to the coronavirus outbreak appears to have sewn concerns even among the Chinese people that the lack of a swift governmental response was almost Chernobylic.
Sorry Xi Jinping, if this virus keeps coming on as a true global pandemic, the actions by Chinese leaders, of which you’re the top dog, will come under fire as the initial slow response could have been much faster, more decisive as it has now become.
Xi Jinping, as the general secretary of the Communist Party of China, president of the People’s Republic of China and chairman of the Central Military Commission, you will have to bear the brunt of the criticism even though China now seems to be much more forceful in taking action and there’s evidence the country might be gaining the upper hand, both in controlling the spread of the virus and in reporting the facts.
President Xi Jinping, as the first general secretary born after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, who has introduced far-ranging measures to enforce party discipline and to impose internal unity, you must now meet the greatest test of your leadership skills and legacy.
So here’s my advice to you, Mr. President and general secretary.
I would like to see you personally leading comprehensive daily news conferences reporting the situation exactly as you learn the facts and do it with yourself very much appearing to be in charge of the situation.
Crises are a time when we most need to see leaders in action, taking charge like the way our president swiftly eliminated that Iranian general plotting to kill Americans.
You also to need to meet with international journalists to give them the latest news and updates on your measures to stop the virus from spreading.
President Xi Jinping, just like we have to do here in the U.S., you need to keep all communications channels wide open and report your nation’s progress regularly in this all-important battle to kill this virus.
The whole world is watching and rooting for leaders like yourself and President Trump you to stop this menace dead in its tracks!
Yes, wear the mask to protect yourself, but remove all masks from communications.