One of the most uncomfortable sessions during the recent PRSA International Conference last week was a breakout about losing control of your brand’s social media account. Fortunately there are steps communicators can take to help avoid such situations, although many of the tactics sound similar to those used in crisis management. Yet how many brands are prepared for a crisis? Does your brand have an updated crisis plan and conduct regular crisis exercises?
The insidious nature of the Harvey Weinstein situation has become clear. Not only have the alleged inappropriate actions of Mr. Weinstein caused the apparent downfall of one of Hollywood’s top producers, the scandal also has touched the company he co-founded as well as NBC News, the Clinton Foundation and Amazon. James Corden, Woody Allen, Mayim Bialik and Al Michaels also were caught in the thicket. Can communicators do anything in situations like these when the boss and founder of a company is alleged to be a deviant?
Dove is in crisis mode after running a Facebook advertisement many are calling racist. The ad, a GIF which featured a black woman removing her shirt to reveal a white woman, was pulled after being widely shared on social media and covered in national news outlets. Given how many brands fumble in getting across respectful messaging around race and diversity, it’s crucial for all communicators to ensure their brands have an internal review process for all content, including an employee culture that nixes off-mark messaging long before it reaches the public.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is eating crow as the situation with Russian ads on Facebook has amounted to more than the nonsense he called it initially. Equifax, of course, has committed nearly every error possible in terms of its early crisis management to its summer data breach. Katie Paine grades the two brands’ crisis response efforts.
Maryland Transportation Authority Police dragged an uncooperative passenger off a Southwest Airlines plane. Public sentiment indicates sympathy for Southwest in this case, which could easily be due in part to the reputation the airline has built for itself through its efforts at transparency, customer service and good deeds.
Working on a PR crisis-management team, especially a successful one, can provide communicators with an indescribable high. Yet crisis work can be all-consuming, pressure-filled and harmful to one’s family and social life. Do you have what it takes to work in crisis management? Veteran PR pro Arthur Solomon offers a framework for PR pros thinking about entering the world of crisis.
The NFL and the NFL Players Association had a challenging task in representing the diverse opinions of their stakeholders. Ultimately they both defended players’ right to express their views without fear of reprisal. Even players, owners and coaches who supported Trump repudiated his “divisive” comments over the weekend.
Reports that Facebook’s self-service ad-buying tool may have been used by Russian agents during the 2016 election—as well as allowed anti-Semitic groups to target like-minded individuals—has damaged the brand’s reputation and raised questions about federal regulation of social media ads. The revelations have also raised questions about transparency, integrity and crisis management. When should a company withhold information it knows will damage its brand, and for how long?
Mexico City is reeling from the devastation caused by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake on Sept. 19, and much of the area has suffered electricity blackouts and downed cell service, roiling recovery efforts. But media outlets and government officials with access to power and cell service have taken to Twitter and Google to share evacuation instructions and request supplies.
Size matters, particularly when it comes to social crises. In fact, large brands with extensive presences globally are very big targets for those with mobile phones, which is just about everyone. Walmart has absorbed its share of social crises this summer. Dan Kneeshaw, the brand’s senior director, global communications, digital strategy & brand engagement, provides insight on how Walmart views social crises.