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What Were They Thinking:
The Good, The Bad and the Totally Clueless!

Steve Adubato has been teaching, writing and thinking about communication, leadership and crisis communication for nearly two decades. His third book was just released and is titled "What Were They Thinking: The Good, The Bad and the Totally Clueless!" and is being published by Rutgers University Press. In this new book, Adubato, who is also a media analyst for MSNBC.com, examines some of the highly-publicized (as well as the not so well known) and often controversial and complex public relations and media mishaps. Some corporations spend millions of dollars on so-called “crisis communication plans.” Others offer lip service, avoiding the subject like the plague and simply hope for the best praying that they never face a crisis. Either way, wishful thinking is no substitute for a strategic communication plan. Who got it right? Who got it wrong? What can the rest of us learn from them?

“What Were They Thinking?” was recently reviewed in The Star-Ledger:

"For readers who anticipate facing the media because of a personal or professional crisis, Adubato’s book would be a wise investment…The lessons drawn from every case are simple and worth mastering."  -- Kathleen Daley

Click here to read entire review


Media Clips

Steve Adubato was recently interviewed by Joanna Caplan talking about "What Were They Thinking?" Following are some clips from the interview:

Praise for What Were They Thinking

“Steve is a media expert, a street smart guy with powerful insight that makes this book so relevant for our time.’”
Ernie Anastos, Anchor
FOX 5 New York

“Read this book now before you have to ask yourself, ‘what was I thinking?’ Steve's sage advice definitely beats ‘on-the job-training!’”
Lucia DiNapoli Gibbons, Regional President Northern New Jersey
Wells Fargo

“Heaven forbid you should find yourself or your company with a public relations crisis on your hands. But if you do, Steve Adubato has a wealth of common sense for how to weather the storm with a minimum of damage.’”
Jim Willse, Editor
The Star-Ledger

“This book should be in every leader’s library and on every communications professional’s desk…an excellent guide on how to communicate in times of crises.’”
Laurence M. Downes, Chairman and CEO
New Jersey Resources

“Steve Adubato gets right to the core of crisis communications…Honesty, engagement, planning and training are the tools you need to deal with a crisis.’”
Bob DeFillippo, Chief Communications Officer
Prudential Financial, Inc.

“Steve Adubato is one of my favorites. He has a clear point of view and isn’t afraid to share it, particularly when it comes to media coverage of important stories.’”
Joe Scarborough, Host, “Morning Joe,”

“Steve’s book contains tons of valuable advice on the importance of a pro-active crisis communication plan. Plus he shares practical ways to sharpen your leadership skills in this process. A great read!’”
Jack Mitchell , Author of HUG YOUR CUSTOMERS and HUG YOUR PEOPLE
CEO of Mitchells/Richards/Marshs

“Steve Adubato continues his role as the perpetual teacher by reinforcing that there are lessons to be learned from every circumstance. Read ‘What Were They Thinking?’ to insure you are not a chapter in Steve’s sequel.’”
Thomas Marino, CPA, Partner & Chief Executive Officer

“The truth will out. My parents and grandparents used to say it. And now, from his own unique perch -- having seen life from both sides of the camera and both sides of the typewriter -- Steve Adubato is saying it too. We can only hope that those who need to read this book carefully, will.’”
Bill Ritter, Anchor
ABC/7 in New York

“’Who will you call first in a crisis?’ My answer, unequivocally, Steve. Dr. Adubato provides a common sense approach to dealing with every senior executive's nightmare, a crisis. His readable, entertaining book is a must for every exec's desk. Sooner or later we all will need it!”
Patricia Costante, President and CEO


“The responses in the lonely minutes in the wake of a crisis separate great leaders from mediocre ones. Companies and individuals are often defined by the manner in which they have responded to crises. And crises WILL happen--and this hard-hitting book will be your Survival Guide.  In fact, the new ‘Leadership at the C-Level’ module in the highly-ranked Rutgers Executive MBA program plans to use What Were They Thinking? as the textbook.”
Dr. Farrokh Langdana, Professor, Finance/Economics, Rutgers Business School
Director, Rutgers Executive MBA Program

“Through carefully selected, often riveting actual events in ‘What Were They Thinking?’ Steve Adubato drives home powerful communication lessons across the board. Individuals as well as corporations will be well served by these insightful analyses.’”
Ronald J. Del Mauro, President and Chief Executive Officer
Barnabas Health

“Steve makes the art of communication into a “science” by presenting real life situations that challenge your thinking. Great resource for anyone that makes their profession communicating in the 21st century!’”
Annette Catino, President and CEO
QualCare, Inc.

“In every big story or scandal we ask, ‘What were they thinking?’ And so often, the answer comes: ‘They weren't.’ Steve Adubato does better than that, detailing why headline-grabbing stories stayed in the spotlight.’”
Contessa Brewer, News Anchor

“Steve Adubato is a national treasure!  In What Were They Thinking?, he offers a brilliant collection of riveting stories designed to teach the reader how to communicate quickly and effectively in the middle of a crisis.  A MUST READ if – in your personal or professional life – you need to let others know that you are sincere, that you are competent, and that you care.”
John E. Welshons, Author
When Prayers Aren’t Answered and Awakening From Grief

“’What Were They Thinking?’ is a must read for anyone who wants to know how to handle a crisis. This practical guide to the do's and dont's of crisis management uses real-life examples of how communication strategies can help or destroy us in the process.”
Patricia Pilas Kuchon, Ph.D., Graduate Faculty, Strategic Communication and Leadership
Seton Hall University

“A great communicator, Steve Adubato once again delivers his advice in a way that is adaptable to any crisis communications situation. Realistic advice from one of today's best crisis communications professionals.’”
Mike Slusarz, Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations
Barnabas Health

“From the introduction revealing his own PR calamity as a young legislator, to the chapters detailing how corporations, politicians, and other individuals have publicly addressed their various ordeals; national media analyst, Steve Adubato, Ph.D., explains why certain ‘messages’ made in times of crisis have succeeded or failed. Whether you are a CEO, a PR pro, or simply a person in a serious predicament, this book provides key insights into human expectations and offers reliable communication techniques to implement whenever disaster strikes and reputation, image, or honor is at stake.”
Marlene Browne Chamberlin, Author, Boomer's Guide to Divorce
Forbes.com expert on money and divorce

“People want to hear the truth in an authentic way. In ‘What Were They Thinking,’ Steve Adabato guides us through how to plan and deliver a strong message in any crisis situation.’”
Keith H. Green, President & CEO
United Way of Essex and West Hudson

What Were They Thinking is the classic crisis communication book that is a must-read for any professional in any arena. I’m making it required reading for our entire sales force and management team.’”
Nick Matarazzo, EVP Integrated Marketing & Sales
Hachette Filipacchi Magazines

“Steve Adubato's new book What Were They Thinking? answers perhaps the most pressing question for every leader or aspiring leader under fire -- How do I avoid a media nightmare? This perceptive and timely book offers the right answers for crisis communication because Steve Adubato gets it. A real winner.’”
Joe Watkins, Political Analyst

“Steve Adubato reminds us that in a media-saturated environment like ours, public perception is reality; if you are in the public eye, your response to a crisis can either sustain or bury you. By vividly recounting a series of public crises faced by various organizations and individuals, Steve concisely and persuasively draws out the lessons of their (mostly unsuccessful) responses to those crises and underscores how a strong crisis communications plan could have salvaged their situations.’”
Patrick C. Dunican, Jr., Chairman and Managing Director
Gibbons P.C.

“I’ve known Steve for years – he’s the right guy to have around during a crisis.’”
Bobbi Brown, Founder
Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

Copyright© 2016 Stephen N. Adubato Jr., Inc.