Developing a brand message can be difficult. It can be even more difficult to ensure that your message stays consistent across all channels, both internally and externally. And when you have a crisis on your hands, and don’t have the luxury of a great deal of time in which to craft messages that address the crisis, that can be more difficult still.
Whose Court? A California court is deciding whether or not to honor a clause that prohibits Wells Fargo customers from suing the bank over the phony accounts scandal. Should the clause hold in court, wronged customers will forced to submit to arbitration, an option seen as more favorable to Wells Fargo.
With digital’s breakneck speed influencing crises, you’d think new tools and technology that can help in crisis management would be priorities for communicators. Not so fast. A judicious mix of traditional and digital is the preferred method of Eric Wohlschlegel, director, media relations, American Petroleum Institute (API), who will be speaking at PR News’ Media Relations Conference, Dec. 8, in Washington, D.C.
Hurricane Matthew recently taught millions of Americans a lesson they should have long-since learned: that it is dangerous to live or work on the coast. Of course, telling coastal dwellers this is like telling Kansans that it’s dangerous to live in Tornado Ally – or a Los Angelino that it can be unhealthy to live on a fault line.
In case you’ve been studiously avoiding all forms of media surrounding the run-up to this week’s election, the atmosphere has become politically charged in the past few months. Brands are advised to raise their shields. As we noted a few weeks back, Bisquick attempted to inject gluten-laden levity into the second presidential debate, asking the Twitterverse innocuously if it would “vote” for a pancake or a waffle. Social media winced, urging Bisquick to back off on the funny stuff during such an important moment. “Get off my Twitter feed, Bisquick,” roared one disgruntled tweeter, representing the consensus.
Starbucks released a new cup design to celebrate community Nov. 1, and in a very much precedented turn of events, people are upset about it. A misperception that this is the 2016 design for Starbucks’ annual holiday cup plus a side of political baggage has made for some heated Twitter commentary.
There are so many lessons for brands and brand communicators to learn from the awful mishap in Australia late last month. It vies with Wells Fargo for one of the poorest performances during a crisis, ensuring its enshrinement in PR textbooks and classrooms for years to come.
An infographic illustrating how quickly crises can move, spread around the globe and ruin a brand’s reputation.
There’s good news and bad news when it comes to managing crises in the digital era. On the upside, brands are able to reach their stakeholders directly via social, yet digital tech spreads word of crises, accurate or not. The five minutes that Warren Buffett once said it takes to ruin a reputation is no longer the case. It’s now been reduced to the time it takes someone to create a Facebook post.
The public apology is dead. Long live the indignant counterattack. Thanks to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, public figures and corporate chieftains who find themselves on the receiving end of scrutiny by media or other actors may no longer need to recite painfully scripted statements with stoic spouses standing by their sides. They just need to fight back.