Jon Faine’s bully blunder- A lesson in crisis management

On July 29, 2015

It was interesting radio this morning as Jon Faine questioned the lawyer of Dimity Paul, Adem Somyurek’s chief of staff who was a victim of workplace bullying at the hands of the Minister.

Jon’s line of questioning almost supported workplace bullying.  Comments like ‘Politics is a tough environment’ and questions like ‘How bad was the bullying on a scale of 1 to 10.’ Does it matter?  How bad does it need to be?

The call back was furious, taking Jon to task.  Jon’s defence was ‘My role is to ask the difficult questions, to probe and dig deeper’.  This position absolved himself of any wrong doing, as he claimed that the position was not his own, he was just doing his job.   After two passionate and articulate callers told Jon this was a lot of rubbish, a feeble apology finally came out.

“I am sorry if I have offended anyone and I will listen to the interview myself,” said Jon at the 11th hour before the 9 o’clock news.

I look forward to his own analysis to see if he feels that his ‘interview techniques’ over stepped the mark.

Looking at some of the responses on social media, this is Jon Faine’s bully blunder. From a crisis management perspective, Jon’s apology was feeble, couched with excuses and certainly did not seem genuine.

Perhaps the radio master needed to eat some humble pie and admit that he may have made a genuine mistake, without intending to offend anyone!  We all make mistakes.  We teach our children to apologies when they do.  Here’s hoping that this is what Jon will do tomorrow.

This is a genuine lesson for all involved in crisis management and crisis communication.