There is a tried and tested cynical way for political parties to deal with corruption scandals. Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, called it “flood the zone with shit”: distract the public with a barrage of misinformation.
For this article, we spoke to parties that have endured corruption scandals, but dealt with them without cynically resorting to the dark arts. How did they pull it off?
Establish crisis communication mode
To manage and contain the crisis, all respondents quickly assembled a very small team of senior internal people. Depending on the scale of the scandal, they also brought in trusted external specialists such as lawyers, auditors and crisis communicators.