Crisis Communications: What do Andrew Cuomo, Ted Cruz, and Joe Biden have in common?

The failure to be open and transparent during a crisis.

@DoctorDarryl Podcast 360

14 March 2021

What do Andrew Cuomo, Ted Cruz, and Joe Biden have in common?

If you answered, they are all politicians; you would be right.

However, all three men also have lost the public’s trust and faith in them as leaders because of their inappropriate behavior.

How does this happen, and why?

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening wherever you maybe I’m Darryl Armstrong, and this is Podcast 360.

As recently as January this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo was a renowned crisis manager and a media darling.  Hey, the guy had written a book on leadership during the middle of a pandemic; go figure! By the way, I’m pretty sure Andrew did little of the writing.

Now, less than 90-days later, he is fighting to survive in the court of public opinion, and I predict soon may be in the court of law unless he forks over money to those he has aggrieved.

Hiding data on his nursing home scandal and the 15,000 deaths caused by his policies is horrible in itself, and you would think the media would be all over that investigation. However, sex trumps death in the mainstream media.

The senseless and tragic deaths and the FBI investigation into them are now second in interest to the NY Attorney General’s investigation into Cuomo’s #metoo scandal. Seven women allege inappropriate sexual advances and behavior by the once prominent Democrat, who wanted to run for a fourth term as Governor.

Cuomo and his brother at CNN yucked it up while our elders died on his watch. Chris, a word to the want to be reporter Journalism 101 tells us that no reporter should ever interview a family member. Did you skip that class?

Of course, many of us don’t believe Chris Cuomo is anything other than a hack opinion reader of a teleprompter and off-the-cuff political commentator. My opinion.

Andrew Cuomo creates his crisis through inappropriate behaviors.

Let us be fair and balanced here. US Senator Ted Cruz, the senior Senator from Texas and a Republican, didn’t demonstrate much good thinking or appropriate behavior as we say here in the South when he packed bags to take his daughter to Cancun during Texas’ energy and weather crisis.

You can bet a BBQ sandwich at the Salt Lick that his next opponent will run the video of him walking the aisle to the plane pulling his roller bag behind him. Campaign poster headlines will read, and video voice-overs will say, is this the type of leadership you expect from elected officials?

To make matters worse, members of his DC staff lied about the trip. Although Cruz returned promptly once caught to try and smooth over the controversy, his inappropriate behavior is unacceptable, and he got caught. How couldn’t you get caught?

As one of my colleagues once said, “Don’t do anything if you are a public official unless you want to see headlines and commentators that take you to the task.

Then you have newly-elected President Joe Biden, who calls for unity while claiming the flood of immigrants crossing the border is nothing more than a challenging situation.  Interesting because when he was Vice President under Obama, their Director of Homeland Security called a thousand immigrants a day a crisis. With many times that number being pushed across by cartels to overwhelm the system, the President and his men and Press Secretary see it only as a challenge. By the way, the media understands the importance of words and perception. Remember that under President Trump, children were being held in cages; well, those are the same “cages” that Obama and Biden built and are now being used once again as reception centers.

Lo, the poor press secretary who has to PR the situation and circle back on her answers, I genuinely feel sorry for her.

All behavior has consequences.  All three men created their crisis. Openness and transparency during a crisis are essential. All three men and their PR spokespeople fail in being direct, open, transparent, and forthright about the situations.

I’m Darryl Armstrong, and that is my 360 for the day.


Crisis Communications: PTSD and COVID-19

Crisis Communications: PTSD and the COVID-19 Crisis, Dr. L. Darryl Armstrong 25 May 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is stressful. We fear getting the virus or having our loved ones get sick from what seems like an “invisible enemy.” We worry over lost income, our jobs, and our failing businesses. Healthcare workers and others on the front lines and in essential jobs, as well as those who have become seriously ill, have faced first-hand life-and-death, traumatic situations. As a result, many of us are at risk of developing long-lasting stress—in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) , others of us are having PTSD reoccurrences. How can you tell if you are developing PTSD? And what can you do to address it. Video 10:26

L. Darryl and Kay Armstrong










Crisis Communications: A Perspective on the Use of Social Media in Western Kentucky During the COVID-19 Crisis, Taylor Hayes

Crisis Communications: A Perspective on the Use of Social Media in Western Kentucky During the COVID-19 Crisis, Taylor Hayes (Recorded 3 April 2020 – to be updated end of May 2020)

Public and private sector organizations are using social media to communicate with customers and citizens during the current crisis. Tayor Hayes, the former publisher of the Kentucky New Era provides his perspective on the use of the media in rural western Kentucky. The video provides best practices, creative ideas, and lessons learned to be considered by others during these challenging times. 31:00 video interview.

– L. Darryl and Kay Armstrong










Crisis Communications: Interview with Dcn Mark Prosser, Director of Pastoral Planning, Catholic Diocese, Sioux City, IA – COVID – 19 Crisis and Emergency Planning

Churches across the United States are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Mark Prosser, former Director of Public Safety in Storm Lake, IA, a professional with 45-years of law enforcement and emergency and disaster planning experience, is leading the preparation and plan for the diocese. The planning process includes operations of 87 chu

rches, 24 schools, and 2 hospitals, and a radio station and newspaper. In this interview, he outlines the details of the effort, and the best practices implemented among them are:

·        Increased internal and external coordination and communications among all organizational levels

·        Use of social media and web platforms to ensure outreach to congregants

·        Stand-up of information pushes on the CARE Act and of COVID-19 safety practices

·        Sharing of best practices across the four dioceses in Iowa

·        Planning for post-COVID-19 operations and decisionmaking

·        Establishment of a post-COVID-19 working group

– L. Darryl and Kay Armstrong










Crisis Communications: Taylor Hayes, 40-year News Veteran Interview Working with the Media

Taylor Hayes is the former publisher of the Ky New Era with more than 40-years experience. Working with the media requires understanding what the reporter needs are and what your role and responsibilities are. Mr. Hayes provides insights in this 7:30 video. #PayItForward #CrisisLeadership #CrisisManagement #MediaRelations #Workingwithmedia #UnitedAmerica #TeamTybeeStrong @DoctorDarryl http://www.ldarrylarmstrong.com FB – ArmstrongPublicRelations


THE MILLENIALS: Who are these people? Chapter 1 of 7


The M-Generation

“The best crisis to manage is the one you prevent!” Dr. L. Darryl Armstrong speaking to the National Association of Environmental Professionals

You are trying to transition your business to the next generation of ownership, or hiring Millennial generation (The M-Generation) employees.

You are frustrated and even chagrined!

If you are not careful you will create a crisis for yourself and your fellow employees and managers. However, there is hope and we will provide you some counsel as how to understand the M-Generation and how to work with them. Because most likely you are either a “Baby Boomer” or a “GenXer” doing the hiring.

You are thinking that these people must not have grown up in the same world that you did. You think to yourself, we may have a crisis developing, and you have no idea why. You would be right in both assumptions.

Although some of what you read or hear will seem negative, try to maintain an open-mind and understand I am approaching this as a behavioral psychologist with no “horse in your race.”

The description I provide here of the M-Generation is intended to be helpful and will show you how research and understanding is evolving to help us all better understand this generation.

Dealing with the M-Generation will be challenging, yet successful employers recognize the importance of learning as much about this generation as possible. Like it or not, they will be reshaping our world because by 2020 they will be 60% of our work force.

The basis of this series of articles and E-book comes from the research, including “The M- Factor: How the Millennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace” by Lynne C. Lancaster and David Stillman (Harper Collins, 2010) and from the Internet site PWC’s report Millennials in the Work Place – Reshaping the World. We also have integrated the work from other consultants who specialize in the M-Generation and work with them daily.

Business people in a meeting room

Perhaps, just perhaps, if you get better informed about the M-Generation, you can prevent a major crisis from developing, or at the least, better understand how to deal with the crisis when it does. The idea is to understand and utilize the particular talents of the M-Generation because you will be hiring and/or working with people who have unique characteristics and challenging behaviors for years to come.

As a behavioral psychologist, I am fascinated by people’s behaviors and their responses to behaviors. The behaviors I see being exhibited by the M-Generation and the responses from the Baby Boomers and Gen X folks provide an extra dose of fascination.

Millennials are anyone of the 76 million young people who were born between 1982 and 2000. They are entering the work force at a rapid pace, and they are being hired by managers between the ages of 40 and 65 (the “Baby- Boomers” and “GenXers”).

The hiring managers are somewhat bewildered by the people they are hiring, as well as learning that transitioning this generation into the work environment is rarely without issue and can be crisis inducing.

Why are there such generational differences between these three groups? Let’s look at the differences in the M-Generation’s cultural and historical memories. Just as World War II was only a textbook to those of us who grew up in the 1960s and 70s, the Vietnam War was is only a textbook memory to the M-Generation.

In our generation, we were just beginning to enjoy the benefits of such advanced technology as pocket transistor radios; the M-Generation is technologically savvy beyond any of our wildest expectations. Just stop and ask yourself, whom did you call to program your VCR just a few years ago?

I would suggest that there are three significant questions we must answer and understand to work with the M-generation:

  1. How do they see their world and how do they process the information they see?
  2. How do they expect and choose to operate in the world of work and why?
  3. What do they expect to receive from their work and what do they perceive as rewards?

Research, surveys and analyses by many people more experienced than I am suggest that the good news is there are answers to some of these questions. The bad news is that many of our generation can’t relate to those answers and the M-Generation perspectives.

Some six key findings to be sensitive to when dealing with the M-Generation:

  1. They will share information of all types and of depth across many different platforms and with many different people – discretion is not part of their typical vocabulary;
  2. They require – read – must have – personalized attention;
  3. They must be always winning and be recognized for even coming to work on time;
  4. They use a variety of social media and social networking, unlike any generation previously, and their knowledge and use of this technology can be impacting to an organization, as well as society at large;
  5. They are talented in certain areas of endeavors and less so in others;
  6. They are critical and show little regard as to who they are critical about or towards and they often don’t hesitate to voice their views and opinions.

Seniority and your feelings are irrelevant to many of the M-Generation. For example, they may understand how to use Microsoft Power Point, yet invariably would explain to you how to use Apple iPhoto to get better results on the presentation that you spent hours on developing.

They have trouble dealing with lines of authority, and command positions are simply irrelevant to many of them. In fact, they would without hesitation go straight to a CEO and argue their case against a change in the organization’s protocols without your knowledge.

And their parents, well, they also can be an issue. Fathers and mothers (think “Helicopter” parents) of the M-Generation have been known to reprimand employers at social engagements over incidents their children just mentioned in passing to them.

Now, having laid this foundation, allow me to caveat it by saying not all M-Generation people are of this ilk.  However, research and experience show these generalizations are not that far from the reality of their behaviors in the work place. So then, how do we deal with the M-Generation at work?

Image result for wizard of oz

As Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, “Toto, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore!”

Next: Part 2 – How do we deal with the M-Generation in our work place?





Crisis Communications: Interview with Dr. Bruce Costello, “The Importance of Corrective Body Work During Stay Healthy at Home”

We are allegedly “healthy at home,” however, we know that sitting is the new health danger! However, there are simple corrective body exercises that can keep us healthy and happier. Dr. Bruce Costello, a former chiropractor, and massage therapist/instructor has developed a unique system and shows us three easy to do exercises in the 21:26 video interview.

– L. Darryl and Kay Armstrong









Crisis Communications: Relations and One Voice

To build integrity and credibility during a crisis you need one well-trained and articulate spokesperson with subject matter experts who can speak with a unified message. Use the What, so what, now what message development sequence to build your messages. Ensure they are clear and understandable, consider all the tough questions and prepare your answers for them. Know when to refer to the subject matter experts and when to stop talking.