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Admit it and we’ll forget. Deny it, and we’ll remember forever.

In 2008, professional baseball players Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte were accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs. Pettitte fessed up and moved on. Clemens denied it and is now synonymous with steroids. Pettitte is still pitching. Clemens is facing prison time for lying under oath. Pettitte’s story will end in the hall of fame. Clemens may end up in a jail cell. One will always be associated with championships, and the other with drug use. These two men defined themselves by how they handled disaster.

Brands need to understand that when confronted with crisis, they are treated the same as people. If they make a commitment to transparency they will be remembered for honesty, despite the scandal. If they cover it up their name will stink in the ears of the public. It may sound backward, but Brands should embrace crisis. It builds character and more compelling story.

“Lies have to be covered up. The truth can run around naked.”  – Jonny Cash