As I write my final post of the year, it appears that the media has dubbed 2010 as “The Year of the Crisis.” Today’s article in The Wall Street Journal does nothing to dispel this. With the headline “Public Relations Learned the Hard Way,” the article chronicles the crises of BP, Apple, Toyota, HP and Johnson & Johnson, and offers opinions from PR experts on the mistakes that were made. Floated in the story was the idea that increased governmental scrutiny put the screws to these companies, causing added pressure that contributed to PR blunders. But I don’t buy that hypothesis. BP, Apple, Toyota, HP and Johnson & Johnson all found trouble from bad business decision making, bad planning, a lack of oversight or all three. What do you think—can we expect another “Year of the Crisis” in 2011, brought on in part by increased outside pressure, or will companies simply learn from others’ mistakes?
–Scott Van Camp