As explained earlier on this blog, FCPA prosecutions have increased priority in the Department of Justice, and companies are on notice to behave nicely.
Part and parcel of diligent FCPA compliance requires communicating positive steps, which is where crisis public relations becomes an important strategy. This time around, the perpetrator is Daimler AG, the venerable German automaker that manufactures Mercedes Benz. Daimler today agreed to pay $185 million in fines to the U.S. government for its alleged corrupt business practices.
While crisis management would recommend a media holding statement at a minimum, Daimler should also take active steps to explain any new transparency measures it plans to implement to avoid this type of scandal in the future. (In this case, Daimler gave a very lame “no comment” response to the allegations … sigh.)
If a tree falls in a forest… ah, you get the picture. Remember, in crisis public relations, the redemption narrative works only if people know you’re making that same effort — so publicize it!