Crisis Management


How Team Starfish Won PR News’ Crisis Team Championship in Miami

June 20th, 2016 by

When Volkswagen sputtered in September with dieselgate, we had little trouble finding PR pros to opine about how VW could use the crisis to remake the brand through trust and transparency ( PRN, 9/28/2015). Similarly, trust and transparency were in play during a crisis management competition at PR News’ Digital PR & Marketing Conference on June 8 in Miami Beach. Crisis pros Pia De Lima, VP, corporate communcations, Western Union, and Allison Steinberg, communications strategist, ACLU, formulated a fictitious crisis scenario (below) and judged several teams’ crisis plans. The teams had 30 minutes to concoct their plans in pursuit of a $1,000 prize that PressPage—a sponsor of the conference, along with Business Wire, Cision and LexisNexis—provided.

The Week in PR

June 13th, 2016 by

Sometimes brands respond to an issue with a statement. Other times a good response is to monitor the situation and work behind the scenes. For most brands, it’s barely noticeable when Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers decides to eschew milk and cheese to gain strength, reduce inflammation in his joints, lose weight and extend his career. If you’re a Packers fan, who affectionately dons a cheese headpiece on fall Sundays, such intolerance for lactose is a concern. Should you happen to be from top U.S. cheese maker Wisconsin, whose license plates declare it the Dairy State, well, the 32-year-old’s oath could be tantamount to an affront to good manners. After all, for years Sargento, the family-owned, Wisconsin-based cheese maker, has been kicking in $1,500 after every Packers touchdown to charities feeding the needy.


Cincinnati Zoo Highlights Transparency Amid Gorilla Crisis

May 31st, 2016 by

For the Cincinnati Zoo, a horrible accident swiftly escalated into a full-blown crisis as animal rights activists and social media users were quick to criticize the zoo’s decision to take the life of the endangered animal to save a 4-year-old boy who fell into the zoo’s gorilla enclosure.

This Week In PR

May 30th, 2016 by

The media shouldn’t feel too badly medical-testing firm Theranos is ignoring it ( PRN, Dec 21, 2015). Even Walgreens, which has a deal to set up thousands of Theranos blood-testing sites in its drugstores, received a cold shoulder. The pharmacist never even got a proper look at Theranos’ main testing device, Edison, The Wall Street Journal reported May 26 in a page 1 story.


San Diego Padres Commit PR Error in Response to Gay Men’s Chorus

May 23rd, 2016 by

There have been several years where the San Diego Padres haven’t been tantamount to futility in baseball. Founded in 1969, the club has managed 14 winning seasons and captured the National League pennant twice.

Still, reputations die hard. The Padres, who once played in embarrassing-looking chocolate-brown uniforms, did themselves little good over the weekend, botching an ostensibly positive show of diversity. The incident contains a plethora of PR lessons.


McDonald’s and ‘The Founder’: What to Do When Your Brand’s in an Unsought Spotlight

May 20th, 2016 by

There have been lots of opportunities for McDonald’s to throw a legal wrench in the film about their founder and his questionable business ethics, if only to slow down or harass the filmmakers. But director John Lee Hancock says that McDonald’s has “made no attempt to interfere” with the movie. If your brand were undergoing a withering examination on the big screen, how would you react?

Issues Management Cheat Sheet

May 17th, 2016 by

Mitigating and Responding to Risk Here are some top-line tips for managing tough issues: Be prepared. No matter what your industry, there is a security “pain point” that you should 
consider. When creating a risk… Continued

The Week in PR

May 16th, 2016 by

We reported late last year that members of Chipotle’s brass mentioned during an investor conference that they were upset with the piecemeal way the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was reporting to the public about the brand’s cases of E. coli (PRN, Dec 14 & 21, 2015). Apparently the burrito maker also put its complaint in writing.


6 Crisis Communications Tips To Help You Spot Impending Problems

May 9th, 2016 by

Here are some procedures to build an infrastructure that prepares you to monitor and use social media during crisis communication.


Johnson & Johnson Fights Talc Ruling

May 3rd, 2016 by

In a May 2 jury verdict in Missouri, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay a plaintiff $55 million in a suit that alleges talc in the brand’s Baby Powder led to her contracting ovarian cancer. At the outset, it seems clear how J&J views the situation: an issue that requires action. The same day the jury returned its verdict, the J&J site published a blog post titled “4 Important Facts About the Safety of Talc.”