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Introduction to skeletons in the closet

This video discusses handling of so-called "skeletons in the closet", like bribery scandals, and disrespect for the environment and human rights.

This video teaches how companies handle major setbacks, failed projects, scandals, and cooperation with dictatorial regimes throughout history. These incidents are so-called skeletons in the closet and do not make today’s management proud, but what’s done can never be undone.

A company history presented as a one-sided success story is not trustworthy. The company needs to bring the historical skeletons in the closet out to be reliable. History branding is thus not about massaging history to suit the company’s work with public relations. Companies should not try to hide their past and should not lie! It only makes things worse!

The longer a company mishandles its history or tries to suppress or excuse sensitive parts, the higher the risk for economic losses and image damages once the information gets public: this is the so-called “history trap”. Companies falling into it have often tried to cover up violations of human rights or environmental scandals.

Unprofessional handling of debatable history prepares for a negative media image and long-term damage to credibility. An honest and nuanced view of the company history and well-documented history writing may be parts of a company’s crisis management.

Usually, attempts to hide dark episodes in the company’s or organisation’s history only worsen things. Discuss the reasons why.
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History Branding: Using History to Strengthen Corporate Identity

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