Companies should look to PR to ensure strong characters before crisis hits; just ask Sony and Uber

Brands need PR to solidify high-integrity culturesA brand’s reputation can rise or fall based on how it reacts to unplanned events. Having a crisis plan in place is a good start, but it’s not enough. The right response has to be part of the organization’s character, part of its DNA.

Two companies have hurt themselves and eroded their own reputations with woefully tone-deaf responses to events. As these cases are analyzed in the days and weeks to come, crisis planning will undoubtedly be invoked. In both cases, though, all the planning in the world wouldn’t have stopped these businesses—Uber and Sony—from reacting based on their core nature.

When an unbalanced gunman with a long… Read More »

FIR Interview: Melissa Agnes and Gerard Braud debate “going dark” with social media in a crisis

 

Social media has become a standard component of crisis communication efforts. In an August 6 blog post, crisis communications and media training consultant Gerard Braud of Braud Communications argued that there could be crisis situations in which institutions would be best served by taking down their Facebook page or other social media outposts. Looking at the flood of negative, critical, and even outrageous comments left to Emory Healthcare’s Facebook page after the hospital began treating an Ebola victim, Braud concluded, “Sometimes in a crisis, you may find that it is in your best interest to rely on conventional crisis… Read More »

Mary Barra’s response to Valukas probe: First steps toward GM’s rehabilitation?

GM HeadquartersGM CEO Mary Barra has shown a number of faces during the auto giant’s recall crisis. It has been Barra’s job to serve as chief spokesperson about the recalls of some 11 million cars, recalls that took as long as 11 years to enact, a delay that caused 13 deaths the organization has acknowledged (and possibly hundreds of others they haven’t).

Barra—who only to the helm this year—has faced new revelations on a regular basis, including disclosure of an internal presentation cautioning employees to avoid using incendiary words in emails that might surface during legal discovery. (This Legal department move was particularly ill-advised. It… Read More »

Friday Wrap #103: Hashtags gone bad, Yahoo’s YouTube rival, no more Zappos job listings, and more

Friday Wrap #103The Friday Wrap is a curated rundown of news, reports and posts from the past week that, while they didn’t go viral or attract much attention, are still interesting and useful for communications professionals. I select Wrap items from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow.

Hashtag Hell

Tale #1: Chevron—Hashtag hijacking is nothing new, though it’s still remarkable that there are still big brands with volatile critics that introduce ill-advised hashtag campaigns. What happened with Chevron takes the concept in a whole new direction. #AskChevron “was not started by Chevron at all. This was a promoted tweet setup and paid for by… Read More »

Friday Wrap #102: Cameras at work, Facebook rules marketing, native ads okay with the public

Friday WrapThe Friday Wrap is a curated rundown of news, reports and posts from the past week that, while they didn’t go viral or attract much attention, are still interesting and useful for communications professionals. I select Wrap items from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow.

News

NLRB ruling could end another common workplace policy—A U.S. National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge found Boeing violated labor law by videotaping union protests at its facilities two years ago while also prohibiting employees from using their own cameras at work unless they had a special permit. The two activities taken together… Read More »

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