T.J. Winick

Author's books

Reputation Capital


In two decades as a television reporter, T. J. Winick covered many scandals. The biggest mistake he saw brands make was to try to “make it go away” by refusing to apologize, declining to comment, or going on the attack—anything to deflect attention. Often that kind of response becomes a scandal of its own.

In his book, Winick argues instead for transparency, honesty, authenticity, and empathy. Handled correctly, the way you address an egregious violation of your standards can increase your reputation capital. It can remind people of what those standards are and how strongly you believe in them.

Drawing on his intimate insider knowledge of the media, Winick addresses every conceivable aspect of how to respond to a scandal. He includes his Ten Crisis Commandments—universal dos and don’ts—and the seven qualities for an effective response. Using dozens of examples, he covers critical issues such as choosing when and how to apologize and when not to, creating a crisis communication plan and forming a response team, making the press your ally; choosing the right social media channel to deliver your message, navigating controversial social issues, and much more.

Winick’s experience covering brands in crisis and then defending them makes this book an invaluable resource. “I have been both the hunter and the hunted,” he writes. If you’ve built your reputation capital through years of living the ideals you espouse, this book will help you protect and defend it when that inevitable crisis strikes.