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crisis communications

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When your company is facing a crisis, it’s critical to respond immediately. However, the long-term consequences of a crisis can be just as harmful to your brand’s image as the initial event. Though a strong crisis communications plan is essential, reputation management is an important part of ensuring that your brand is able to effectively repair its image long after the dust has settled. Below are four steps that will allow you to transition from response to repair in the wake of a crisis. 1. Read more [...]

When a crisis breaks, things accelerate quickly. It takes only minutes for a scandalous tweet to end up as top news on Huffington Post, and only one reporter to post a story about something negative or controversial on your company for it to take off in the media like wildfire. In today’s 24/7 media cycle, you need a solid response plan in place well in advance in order for your organization to react immediately – if you begin developing a response plan once you’re in the midst of a crisis, Read more [...]

Recently, JPMorgan Chase (@jpmorgan) had to shut down a Twitter chat using the ill-fated hashtag #AskJPM. No, not because no one asked good questions (or the radio silence that most PR people fear), but instead, because the questions asked of James B. Lee Jr., vice chairman and top deal maker, were hostile, offensive and inciting a full-on brand attack. Articles in the NYTimes, Huffington Post, and others document some of the antics, but I’d like to focus on how this could have been prevented, anticipated, Read more [...]

Q: What do Lockheed Martin, the CIA and Waffle House have in common? A: Their leaders have all made headlines thanks to personal scandals. For most people, mistakes in one’s personal life don’t have long-term business repercussions. For a high-profile executive on the other hand, every move may be monitored by employees, clients and the media. One mistake can significantly impact his (or her) reputation as well as the stability of the company. What would you do if your CEO had a public Read more [...]

Given the extensive global coverage of Prince Harry’s recent shenanigans, I don’t feel the need to detail out the complete scenario that unfolded last week at the Encore Wynn resort. However, examining the meticulous yet rapid PR production brought forth by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority is worth reviewing in great detail. Below is an overview of how the scandal has impacted these brands: Celebrity Guest Stays for Free: Encore Wynn Comps Harry’s Room Owners of Encore Read more [...]

As a PR pro, imagine waking up to this headline about your client: “My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer in Court.” To me, that sounds like a nightmare. Yesterday afternoon, Progressive Insurance experienced that headline, and subsequent uproar within the Twittersphere surrounding its recent crisis. If companies are going to engage with their customers on social media, a crisis communications strategy needs to be in place, and understood, should something go awry. Consistent Read more [...]

Recently, we worked on a submission for a Social Media Crisis Guidebook that will be published in a few weeks. One of the issues we discussed in our chapter deals with the timeline of a social media crisis and how quickly companies need to respond. Before the advent of social media, a crisis situation typically had some early warning signals but now when something breaks in the twitterverse, you have little more than a few moments before it’s all over the ‘net. Advance preparation is key to ensuring Read more [...]

Over the last 10 years, the line between journalists and readers has grown significantly shorter. From blogging to commenting to online sharing, the swift rise of the Internet and social media has allowed the consumer to be the producer in a way that was never before possible. The line between editorial and advertising has also always been a sticky area, and as a PR professional I’m trained to view pay-for-play media opportunities with a bit of a wary eye. Social media enables the proliferation Read more [...]

It’s one of the Ten Commandments of PR: transparency. Apparently the Coghlan Consulting Group didn’t get the memo. Back in September the PR firm came under fire after the LA Times uncovered that Coghlan was affiliated with fake news site, News Hawks Review, and had been shamelessly promoting their client Central Basin Municipal Water District of California on the site. Coghlan has an agreement between Central Basin’s public affairs office which promises promotional stories “written in the Read more [...]

This past week, I attended a PRSA-NY event where the communications strategy of BP during the oil spill was put on trial. Paul Holmes presided over the case, while each side presented their thoughts on BP’s strategy. By the end of the tribunal I still hadn’t made up my mind about a verdict, but I did come away with some advice on handling crisis communications. Instead of keeping these four lessons to myself, I figured I would share them with you. Lesson 1: Look at the crisis as a battle Read more [...]