Working on a PR crisis-management team, especially a successful one, can provide communicators with an indescribable high. Yet crisis work can be all-consuming, pressure-filled and harmful to one’s family and social life. Do you have what it takes to work in crisis management? Veteran PR pro Arthur Solomon offers a framework for PR pros thinking about entering the world of crisis.
The NFL and the NFL Players Association had a challenging task in representing the diverse opinions of their stakeholders. Ultimately they both defended players’ right to express their views without fear of reprisal. Even players, owners and coaches who supported Trump repudiated his “divisive” comments over the weekend.
Reports that Facebook’s self-service ad-buying tool may have been used by Russian agents during the 2016 election—as well as allowed anti-Semitic groups to target like-minded individuals—has damaged the brand’s reputation and raised questions about federal regulation of social media ads. The revelations have also raised questions about transparency, integrity and crisis management. When should a company withhold information it knows will damage its brand, and for how long?
Mexico City is reeling from the devastation caused by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake on Sept. 19, and much of the area has suffered electricity blackouts and downed cell service, roiling recovery efforts. But media outlets and government officials with access to power and cell service have taken to Twitter and Google to share evacuation instructions and request supplies.
Size matters, particularly when it comes to social crises. In fact, large brands with extensive presences globally are very big targets for those with mobile phones, which is just about everyone. Walmart has absorbed its share of social crises this summer. Dan Kneeshaw, the brand’s senior director, global communications, digital strategy & brand engagement, provides insight on how Walmart views social crises.
Facebook has announced a new feature: Crisis Response, a center that brings its various tools and features for responding to tragedies and natural disasters into one place. Open Crisis Response, select one of the ongoing crises in the world and you’ll be able to use Safety Check, Community Help, get important news updates and more.
The cruise ship industry is often on the wrong end of crisis communications, but Hurricane Irma has given Royal Caribbean the chance to show its humanitarian side, even as it deals with pressing customer service issues on social media. The Miami-based company is mobilizing four of its ships to help people in need with food, water and other supplies, in coordination with the federal government as well as local governments in St. Thomas and St. Maarten.
On the surface, Equifax seemed to respond to its data breach in textbook fashion. It issued an apology both in writing and in a video. The brand also set up a web site where consumers could check if their data had been compromised. A deeper dive, though, shows Equifax may have committed several costly errors in terms of crisis response. An early lesson from Equifax’s crisis is that merely having a crisis plan is not enough. Execution of the plan is critical, too.
New Hurricane Harvey-related public health concerns arose Aug. 31 when two explosions were reported at a chemical plant in Crosby, TX, about 25 miles outside of Houston. The plant, owned by French chemical company Arkema, lost power on Aug. 26 as a result of Harvey’s floods. Here are five ways Arkema’s communications team has responded to the crisis so far.
In the Houston area the priorities are rescue, assistance and recovery. Finger pointing about who’s to blame has started, but properly should come much, much later, if at all. Still, there are PR lessons in the early stages of what looks to be a years-long issue. Here are a few.