Credit is due to ad agency J. Walter Thompson and WPP for surpassing our advice on their crisis. A new CEO with a new vision, backed up by JWT’s new documentary focused on the achievements of female pioneers and leaders, all add up to an earnest response to an ugly public relations moment.
C-level execs, especially board members, rightfully are becoming more concerned and aware. The rivers of data flowing underneath businesses they run are at legitimate risk. The damage from breaches can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars when totaling the financial impact of what comes with a breach today: customer and activist investor lawsuits, initial and ongoing investigations and the strain on technological and human capital.
CEOs of two media agencies owned by U.K.-based WPP are under fire for alleged offensive conduct.
For years it seemed that all their advice fell on very deaf ears, but in recent months, and to a large extent due to the immediacy of social media, more and more major brands have been heeding their advice.
One of the best-known PR lessons for brands is that it’s a good idea to have a crisis plan in place since no organization is immune to a crisis situation, as PR pros have argued repeatedly in these pages. But what can and should brands do when they find themselves in the crosshairs of someone else’s crisis or in a crisis not directly related to them?
With the Academy Awards dominating the conversation, we thought it would be instructive to see what the heralded film The Martian can teach us about communications. In the film, things go badly quickly for NASA and the agency adds to the crisis by making some communications errors.
In the wake of the Michigan shootings, it didn’t take long for at least one of Uber’s competitors to send a pointed marketing email to its database. Seasoned professional communicators can probably guess what followed. The takeaway for any brand whose competitor is dealing with the death of either employees or customers is to step back, wait and put yourself in the mind-set of the families whose lives have been changed forever.
Apple had to make a choice that would split its audience no matter how they responded to the FBI.
It’s every company’s worst nightmare: Your business is in the news, and not for something good.