Nationwide Insurance’s Super Bowl ad featured the ghost of a young boy narrating scenes in a life he didn’t get to live because of an accident, and critics didn’t take kindly to it. Still, if you subscribe to the “no such thing as bad publicity” dictum, the spot was a win for the insurer.
Comcast is no stranger to bad press generated by its customer service team. This week, the company is suffering another PR headache after one of its employees changed a customer’s name to “A**hole Brown” on his bill.
PR pros can no longer assume their company or organization is immune to trauma. As a crisis communicator, when something horrible happen are you prepared for an immediate response? Do you have a recovery plan for your brand? A crisis plan that you test, and update annually?
A major complication arose when, on the eve of an important press announcement, a Chicago Sun-Times columnist reported incorrectly that Navy Pier would “sell naming rights” to redevelopment project which had been sponsored by a legacy gift.
The New England Patriots could not make ‘Deflategate,’ the still-developing story about the team using deflated footballs during Sunday’s AFC Championship Game go away. Watching how the Patriots handle full-on damage control mode should provide professional communicators with some key crisis communications lessons.
To prove your value to big egos means having elephant skin. Owning a legitimate relationship with the boss is one thing, but picking him up by the lapels to convince him that his actions could have seriously unintended consequences is another.