Crisis Management

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Brands Ensnared in the Paradise Papers (So Far)

November 8th, 2017 by

Facebook, Apple, Uber, Nike, Walmart, McDonald’s and more are all members of the unhappy fraternity of brands named in the “Paradise Papers,” a trove of millions of documents leaked to the International Consortium of Independent Journalists (ICIJ) that purport to reveal prominent people and companies using offshore havens to avoid tax.

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After Texas Church Shooting, NRA Blunders on Twitter

November 6th, 2017 by

Scheduling tweets and recycling old content are best practices, but the NRA failed to take into account that it is an extremely crisis-prone brand and scheduled a tweet that looked insensitive in the context of the Texas church shooting. This should be addressed in every brand’s crisis plan.

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Walmart, Uber, Home Depot Caught in the Crossfire of a Violent Week

November 2nd, 2017 by

As so often happens when a violent tragedy strikes and claims human lives, brands were taken along for the sad and sobering ride this week. As the usual questions about gun control and immigration arise for America, questions arise as well for Walmart, The Home Depot and Uber about what and how they should communicate to their stakeholders to reassure and to help.

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PR Advice for Hillary Clinton After Brazile Report in Politico

November 2nd, 2017 by

By now, nearly everyone in Washington, D.C., has heard about the seemingly damaging article in this morning’s Politico. Former DNC chair Donna Brazile writes that she has solid proof that the Hillary Clinton campaign rigged the party’s nomination. The question for PR pros, of course, is what advice would you offer to Hillary Clinton now? Should she contest the article, hold a press conference, release a statement or remain silent?

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Week 3 of #MeToo: Spacey and Halperin’s Contrasting Apologies Get Added to the Stack

October 30th, 2017 by

Spacey was accused of a forceful sexual advance by actor Anthony Rapp, who was 14 at the time. Halperin was accused by 12 women of sexual assault and harassment during his tenure as political director at ABC News. Their statements differ in some very important ways.

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How to Get a Tuition-Free Crash Course in Media Relations, Part III

October 24th, 2017 by

In what he promises will be the final installment of his series on how watching the political scene can provide PR pros with a free, crash-course on crisis management, Arthur Solomon emphasizes the importance of telling the truth. While it might not help you keep your job, telling the truth about a situation or a person can keep you out of costly legal jeopardy, he argues.

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Are You Sure You Want to Wing It When It Comes to Crisis?

October 17th, 2017 by

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?

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Does PR Have a Role in a Weinstein-Type Situation?

October 16th, 2017 by

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?

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Dove’s Latest Ad-Related Crisis and How Brands Can Avoid ‘Missing the Mark’

October 9th, 2017 by

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.

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Facebook’s Russia About-Face Is Costly; So’s Equifax’s Crisis Avoidance

October 3rd, 2017 by

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.