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危机公关榜样:通用CEO玛丽.巴拉

2014-08-13    来源:fortune    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

通用汽车公司因点火开关故障而深陷危局。但这家汽车巨头的女CEO玛丽•巴拉在危机中勇于承担的表现收获了很多赞誉,她的人气不降反升,堪称危机公关的正面榜样。

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”
“为王者无安宁。”

-William Shakespeare, Henry IV
——威廉•莎士比亚,《亨利四世》(Henry IV)

It isn’t easy being the leader of anything. William Shakespeare knew it, and so do corporate CEOs. And there’s one time when being in charge is even more trying than usual: during a crisis.
领导不好当。莎士比亚早就说过了,公司CEO也深知个中滋味。在某段时期,掌舵者的日子会比平时更加难熬:那就是危机期间。

General Motors is in the middle of a serious crisis right now. The ongoing scandal regarding faulty ignition switches has resulted in multiple rounds of congressional testimony, a lengthy internal report detailing just how badly the company screwed up, a compensation fund that could cost the company between $400 million and $600 million, and a fine from the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety administration of $35 million. An unconfirmed but widely speculated probe by the Department of Justice could yet result in criminal charges or a large fine. GM has already admitted that its mistakes led directly to the deaths of 13 people, and more could be coming.
此时此刻,通用汽车公司(General Motors)正处于一场严重的危机之中。这场由点火开关故障引发的丑闻还在持续发酵,通用汽车已经接受了多轮国会质询,并发布了一份冗长的内部报告,详细说明这次的错误有多严重。此外,一个专项赔偿基金有可能让通用汽车付出高达4亿到6亿美元的代价。美国交通部和国家公路交通安全管理局也发来了一份3,500万美元的罚单。司法部或将启动的调查有可能使通用汽车面临刑事指控或巨额罚款。通用汽车已经承认,这一错误直接导致13人死亡,这个数字还有可能继续上升。

And through it all, CEO Mary Barra has come out looking better than anyone could have expected.
经历如此多负面新闻之后,通用汽车CEO玛丽•巴拉依然收获了许多褒奖,她的人气不降反升,这种结果出乎所有人的预料。

During her congressional testimony last month, Senators heaped praise on Barra seemingly every time they spoke.
上个月接受国会质询期间,参议员们似乎每次发言,都免不了对巴拉大加赞赏一番。

“God bless you, and you’re doing a good job,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
“愿上帝保佑你,你做得很好,”加州民主党参议员芭芭拉•博克瑟由衷地赞扬道。

So why has Barra managed to escape the ire that so many have for her company, and that so many other leaders of companies in crisis have faced?
那么,为什么巴拉没有像她执掌的这家公司,或者其他许多深陷危机的公司领导人那样,成为千夫所指的对象呢?

Mostly, it seems to be because she has portrayed herself as truly contrite, and as honest as possible, from the start, rather than showing any sort of scorn or hiding in the shadows and not speaking to the press and the public.
看起来最主要的原因是,她呈现出了一副真诚悔悟的形象,从一开始就诚意十足,而不是不屑一顾,或躲在暗处,不向媒体和公众发声。

“GM is not only following best practices, they’re also effectively writing a new book by setting higher industry standards for future recalls by automakers,” said Philip Elwood, a vice-president at crisis management firm Levick.
“通用汽车不仅在践行最佳做法,而且还为汽车业未来的召回事件树立了一个更高的行业标准,实际上,他们正在撰写一部全新的危机应对手册,”利维克危机管理公司(Levick)副总裁菲利普•埃尔伍德这样说道。

Elwood noted that GM has been proactive in working to eliminate the institutional issues that led to the ignition switch issues — firing 15 people, reorganizing the litigation practice and creating the “Speaking Up for Safety” program, which he calls “a sort of internal whistleblower protection act.”
埃尔伍德指出,通用汽车一直在积极致力于清除导致点火开关故障的体制问题——解雇了15位员工,重组诉讼业务流程,并开创了一个名为“为安全发声(Speaking Up for Safety)”的项目。他认为后者相当于“一种内部举报人保护法”。

Barra has been at the center of all of these actions. They weren’t handed off to other executives. They weren’t announced in press releases on a Friday afternoon. Barra got on stage in front of the press and the public and explained exactly how she believes the company failed, and what it was going to do to get better. Her actions never seemed fake, and it was difficult to say she wasn’t legitimately upset that the automaker she has worked at for several decades allowed this to happen.
巴拉一直处于所有这些行动的中心。它们并没有移交给其他高管来处理,也不是在某个周五下午通过新闻通稿对外发布的。巴拉站在舞台上,对媒体和公众详细解释她认为通用汽车是如何失败的,该公司将采取哪些改进措施等问题。她的行动看上去毫无矫饰,也显示出她为此感到痛心:这家她供职了几十年的公司竟然允许这种事情发生。

Compare that to one of the other big public relations crises of the past decade: the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Then-CEO Tony Hayward started by minimizing the incident, saying it wasn’t a big deal. Of course, his most famous gaffe was saying to a reporter that he would like his “life back.” Hayward was massively criticized, and was out of the company within a matter of months.
让我们比照一下过去十年中另一场重大的公关危机:2010年英国石油公司(BP)墨西哥湾漏油事件。该公司时任CEO唐熙华最初打算降低这起事件的严重程度,声称这不是什么大不了的事。当然,他最著名的失态之举是对一位记者说,他想“重回过去的生活”。海沃德随后遭受铺天盖地的指责声,没过几个月就黯然辞职。

Elwood also said that the popularity Barra had before the crisis hit has probably helped her.
埃尔伍德还表示,巴拉在这场危机袭来之前已经积聚的高人气,可能对她也很有助益。

“The announcement of Mary Barra as the new CEO on Jan. 15 of this year was done in spectacular fashion,” he said. “The unspoken shattering of the glass ceiling, as the first female CEO of a U.S. auto giant, surely gave GM some preemptive inoculation.”
“玛丽•巴拉在今年1月15日被任命为新任CEO的消息的确令人振奋,”他说。“她由此成为一家美国汽车巨头的首位女性首席执行官,悬挂在女性高管头顶的玻璃天花板被悄然粉碎。毫无疑问,此举给通用汽车打了一剂防疫针。”

The crisis at GM is far from over. But if Barra keeps playing her cards the way she has so far, she could be held up for years as a textbook example of how a CEO should handle a potentially fatal crisis.
通用汽车的危机还远远没有结束。但如果巴拉延续她的应对策略,她就很有可能被载入史册,成为一位CEO如何挽狂澜于既倒,扶大厦之将倾的典型例证。(财富中文网)



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