Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal and its Branding Dilemma

Jerry Sandusky. Joe Paterno. Penn State. The words, ‘scandal’, ‘sexual abuse’ and ‘cover-up’ are now words forever attached to Happy Valley. You simply cannot continue to cover-up the fault cracks and not be found.

At some point, your game of hide-and-go-seek will end. When it does you will be judged by the degree of the ‘offense’.  

Penn State has taken a branding hit. They are currently a joke. Write all the mea culpa letters from this faculty person or that Penn State alum you want, Penn State- I don’t believe you. Nor should I. Honest people are honest, no matter if it costs them a football player or a contract.

This isn’t a holier than thou statement. It’s because I learned this lesson the hard way.

You see, I worked for an agency that would charge its clients and not deliver. Promises were made to the internal staff and to clients but these grandiose promises were never delivered. Trust me when I tell you clients were irate when this happened. The internal staff saw the writing on the wall and left. If you want to crush your chances for success, that’s one sure fire way of doing it.

What’s more important to realize is the opportunities that were lost. When you run a program, you set an example for how it can be done. But, here’s the kicker- if you want to be successful you must leave your ego at the door.

(All of this happened, allegedly).


Johann Lohrmann
All things Media


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