During crisis moments, PR professionals tend to focus on how stakeholders and audiences view their brand or client. But of growing concern is what search engines see when a negative news story hits. Whether you’re focusing on crisis proactively or after the fact (and most PR pros would agree you really should be doing both), search engine optimization has a crucial role to play. Here are four ways communicators can learn from Verizon’s SEO practices when it comes to preparing for, monitoring and addressing crises.
More than a hollow and cookie-cutter corporate document, “Toward a Vision for Racial Equity & Inclusion at Starbucks: Review and Recommendations” reads as a realigning of perspectives and priorities. This is the work of a brand that has taken a hard, honest look at itself and is ready to share what it has learned.
Often organizations try too hard to either capitalize on hot news topics or avoid them altogether. Neither strategy is particularly effective. Our resident crisis and measurement guru Katie Paine takes a look at Burger King’s whopping disasters overseas and how the EPA’s attempts at staying out of the headlines have backfired royally.
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The CCO often is seen as a brand’s last line of defense, in theory supervising what the brand releases externally and monitoring and sometimes responding to what is said about the company outside the corporate walls. In the Netflix case, though, the CCO was the person who made the insensitive remarks. Twice.
Back in October 2016 John Roderick observed that candidate Donald Trump had jettisoned the word “apology” from his campaign’s PR playbook. Nominee Trump refused to apologize and instead attacked accusers. That tactic worked well enough to propel Trump to victory. Now facing growing condemnation of his immigration policy separating children from families, Trump is sticking to that tactic. It will be interesting to see if/how he communicates a revision to immigration policy.
Twitter may have a simple interface compared to other social platforms, but there’s still an awful lot of tact that needs to go into composing a comprehensive message in 240 characters or fewer. When your brand finds itself in the throes of a crisis, that tact can salvage and enhance your brand’s reputation.
In one of his first public appearances since retiring as special counsel to President Trump, lawyer Ty Cobb during an ethics forum in Washington, D.C., offered conventional wisdom for brand communicators mired in a crisis: respond quickly. He also urged people to dial back their hate and demonization of each other in an effort to restore a civil discourse.
It’s always better to catch a potential crisis when it’s on the horizon rather than having to clean up the inevitable mess once the crisis hits. Sometimes, however, a crisis is inevitable. In those instances, says John Young, social business advisor at Southwest Airlines, having a real-time crisis strategy across departments is key.
Katie Paine looks at how two crises were handled. Sanofi’s Twitter retort to Roseanne Barr’s shot at Ambien for allowing her to create insensitive tweets and Purdue Pharma’s missteps at the outset of the situation and its close-lipped handling of the OxyContin-addiction mess. In the end, every compelling narrative needs a villain, Paine writes