This is the fifth episode of “Interviews with Lynn” a seven-part series from Culloton + Bauer Luce on the issues facing public affairs and crisis management practitioners and their clients.

Lynn Holley, senior consultant at CBL and a former financial news anchor, interviews founding partners Dennis Culloton and Natalie Bauer Luce. These communications strategists offer a behind the scenes glimpse of guiding clients through all manner of crises from global pandemics to boardroom scandals. They’ve helped clients navigate cultural changes and political turmoil with an eye toward rebuilding reputations and renewing purpose.


Lynn Holley: There are, or rather some practitioners in the crisis business, who advocate threatening lawsuits to kill stories, is that something you advise?

Dennis Culloton: It’s not. Clients often demand that when they’re in that bunker or in that panicked state.

I’m not saying it never happens, but it’s the rare, rare, rare instance. There are some practitioners and lawyers that go to that as a first option.

I think it always ends up bringing more discredit upon the client in the situation.

And more importantly, it is kind of a false threat. Because most clients that are in difficult situations, the last thing they want is to submit to more discovery and countersuits where more evidence about emails, and texts, and conversations, and documents can be made public.