A media spotlight on your case can send crucial witnesses running, diminishing your chances of success. In a recent high-visibility case, we identified and tracked down reluctant witnesses and people of interest, and got them to cooperate. People did not want to get involved or be identified in connection with the sordid events at the center of the case, but we were able to overcome their very real concerns about their reputations, safety, and potential retaliation.
Sophisticated liars often arrive with glowing resumes and media packets when they seek entrée to your organization.Whether you’re screening a prospective board member, pricy consultant, or high-visibility new hire, it’s critical to get the facts. Genuine facts. It’s not enough to rely on “self-reported” information—accounts of a person’s background whose only source is the person him/herself. Recently, in conducting a background investigation on a prospective new board member, we dug into the only “facts” that we could find, details this media-savvy executive had fed to the press for decades. Journalists throughout a 25-year history had apparently relied on this executive’s self-reporting without ever questioning it. Our research turned up potentially damaging mob ties.
It’s easier than ever for a rival, known or unknown, to damage your reputation in the truth-fluid world of media and social media. When unwarranted accusations and erroneous “news” about a highly visible global corporation began to show up in widespread media outlets, our client asked for our help in tracking their origin. These damaging reports were intermittent, geographically dispersed, and authored by or attributed to a variety of sources, including many that went unnamed. Our goals: (1) identify the financial backers of this negative publicity; (2) determine their objectives and timing; and (3) develop strategies for countering and reporting on the smear campaign. We discovered a loosely defined and financed network of individuals hostile to this corporation and its ideals. We also discovered a deep-seated personal animosity directed to certain corporate executives. Our client issued a series of breaking news reports based on our behind-the-scenes discoveries.