Crisis Management


Under Armour Arms MyFitnessPal Users With Facts About Data Breach, After Curious Delay

March 30th, 2018 by

Following a data breach by an unknown party in February, Under Armour—MyFitnessPal’s parent company—released an email on March 29 notifying users of the incident. In the email, Under Armour explained that the hack was initially discovered on March 25, and “the affected information included usernames, email addresses, and hashed passwords—the majority with the hashing function called bcrypt used to secure passwords.”


Weber Shandwick’s Work for MSU Raises Questions About Client Vetting

March 29th, 2018 by

Weber Shandwick’s crisis management work for Michigan State University (MSU) has come to light, dealing a blow to the industry’s reputation—and raising questions about the agency’s client-vetting process. While the price tag is raising some eyebrows—Weber Shandwick billed MSU for more than $500,000 for one month’s work—the real question for PR pros is, what should agencies do when they consider taking on a controversial client, particularly in the age of #MeToo?


Will Facebook’s New Privacy Controls Affect Communicators?

March 28th, 2018 by

Following a lengthy lashing in the press and the loss of $95 billion in market value over the last week, Facebook has taken steps to make it easier for users to control the privacy of their personal data. The platform rolled out redesigned security settings that allow users to control what personal information the social network and its third-party apps can store. Yet some data—such as records of the ads that users clicked on—will still be visible.


Crisis Experts Share What Brands Can Learn From Heineken’s Ad Fiasco

March 27th, 2018 by

Heineken is facing a backlash on social media for a Heineken Light advertisement that many are calling racist. The offending ad portrayed a bottle of Heineken Light sliding across a bar past black patrons and into a white customer’s hands, along with the tagline, “Sometimes, lighter is better.” Two crisis management experts weigh in on this latest messaging fumble.


3 Tiers of a Social Media Crisis—and How to Manage Each One of Them

March 26th, 2018 by

Savvy communicators know that having a crisis plan in place before a situation emerges is crucial for any brand. But not every negative comment requires a full-scale mobilization of the proverbial troops. Some social media crises can be mitigated before they gain widespread attention. Taking a tiered approach to crisis management strategy is important for avoiding blunders. By examining your company’s audience and vulnerabilities ahead of time, you can create protocols for each tier.

Mark Zuckerberg, Co-CEO, Facebook

‘Meaningful Social Interactions’ From Facebook’s Leadership Remain Scarce as Cambridge Analytica Story Accelerates

March 21st, 2018 by

We’ve seen it before but it never seems to lose its irony: A brand built on something turns out to be in short supply of it. The British arm of KFC recently ran out of chicken. Built on collecting and protecting sensitive financial data, Equifax turned out to be clueless when handling customers’ confidential information. And Facebook, which espouses “meaningful social interactions,” has leaders who have been slow to talk about its biggest crisis yet.


KFC and Oxfam Take Different Paths to Crisis Resolution, Honesty Triumphs

March 20th, 2018 by

Katie Paine compares crises at Oxfam and KFC in her regular Image Patrol feature. In this edition she explores how transparency and even humor can be prime tactics for managing crisis.


Facebook’s Reputation Takes Another Hit With Cambridge Analytica Revelation

March 19th, 2018 by

Facebook is nursing yet another bruise to its reputation as it manages the fallout from a scandal involving leaked data from nearly 50 million users. The latest incident regarding Strategic Communication Laboratories and its political research arm Cambridge Analytica will likely amplify calls for increased regulation and further erode public trust in the platform.


Tillerson, United, the SEC, Bozoma Saint John—Your Week (so far) in Messaging

March 14th, 2018 by

There’s been no shortage of news in the past couple of days, much of it relating to messaging, brands and crisis management. It’s difficult to know where to start, though it’s hard to ignore the messaging that emanated from the ousting of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Other interesting messages and lessons came from Tillerson’s deputy, the SEC, United and Uber’s Bozoma Saint John.


United’s Latest Mea Culpa Shows Lesson Learned From Dragging Incident

March 14th, 2018 by

Eleven months after its disastrous handling of an incident in which a passenger was violently dragged off of a flight, United Airlines is once again in hot water due to a dog’s death. But unlike its tone-deaf response last year, in which it vigorously defended its employees and blamed the victim, United has accepted full responsibility, shown support for the victim and said it is investigating its employee’s actions.