Monday, December 28, 2009

How Warren Buffett Maintains His Nice Guy Image

Warren Buffett is a skilled PR operator and when it comes to doing the tough stuff Buffett hires bad cops, says Buffet biographer Alice Schroeder:
Even in a crisis, Warren Buffett has avoided crisis communications PR: for example, at Salomon, and during General Re. His approach is: pick up the phone and talk. Berkshire does not have an internal PR person; Buffett is Berkshire’s PR person. He has exceptional media skills, rarely makes mistakes, and is skillful at negotiating when to speak on background, off the record, or with quote approval...

You may be asking yourself, why is the management change at [Berkshire owned]
NetJets a crisis? Berkshire has had money-losing businesses before. At NetJets, Sokol has got an enormous challenge on his hands. The changes he’s making at NetJets are so significant that Sokol’s angry employees apparently took their complaints about him to the press.

Try to imagine Berkshire employees doing that to Buffett. It’s unthinkable, right? Buffett could order animal sacrifices on his birthday and his employees probably wouldn’t complain to the New York Times.

One reason for that is that Buffett almost never criticizes anyone by name. In keeping with that practice, he is not quoted anywhere in [an NYT article about NetJets]. Although the harsh changes have been ordered by him and are being made with his approval, he is staying well out of the way. Sokol has signed up to be the bad cop.

No comments:

Post a Comment