"When there's difficult news to share, be honest, be transparent, and do it quickly. Don't dilute ir or dip it in sugar. No, employees and customers and even the public are willing to forgive or even help if we treat them with the forthright truth. So lying or secrecy just breeds distrust, even contempt. But humble honesty breeds trust and loyalty." -- Barbara Fagan
How do you deliver difficult news to your staff, customers, or the public?
Barbara Fagan-Smith is the founder and CEO of ROI Communication, an award-winning communications consulting firm focused on helping large organizations adapt and succeed in times of change. Building on more than two decades of experience in corporate communications and journalism, she leads ROI's work with Fortune 500 companies, helping them develop and manage effective communication projects that deliver clear business results.
Since its launch in 2001, ROI Communication has worked with a broad array of clients, including Hewlett- Packard, Adobe Systems, Pacific Gas & Electric, Caterpillar, Wachovia, Cisco Systems, Gap Inc., The Home Depot, Chevron, Symantec, Microsoft, and Walgreens. ROI Communication has been recognized with multiple awards from the American Society of Professional Communicators and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).
Barbara is also the founder and managing director of Family ROI, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people of all backgrounds apply proven business principles to revitalize, focus and strengthen the most important organization in the world--their own family.
Prior to founding ROI Communication and Family ROI, Barbara was the Director of Employee and Electronic Communications at Quantum Corporation and Director of Interactive Communications at Simply Interactive, Inc.
Before her career in corporate communications, Barbara worked as a London-based television producer for ABC News, where she covered the revolutions in Eastern Europe and the 1991 Gulf War for ABC's PrimeTime Live and World News Tonight. Earlier, she covered international business and produced national radio programs for ABC. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and Communications from Humboldt State University.
Barbara was selected as a winner of the 2008 Enterprising Women of the Year Awards, an annual tribute to North America's top women entrepreneurs.
ROI Communication was chosen by Working Mother Magazine as one of the 25 Best Small Companies for Women for 2007.