Massage Envy, the spa chain with nearly 1,200 U.S. locations, is under fire as a BuzzFeed investigation brought to light more than 180 allegations of sexual assault made against the company and its franchisees over a 15-year span. And its response to the crisis so far has served as a cautionary tale of bad planning, offering a lesson in what not to do to contain a crisis.
The infrastructure renewal plan for New York’s Penn Station could’ve been a PR nightmare for Amtrak, which owns the station. But after the work was completed and service resumed as usual in early September, commuters seemed to come through the other side unscathed. Amtrak’s communications team can claim some of the credit for that success.
Videos of a man being dragged off of a United flight Sunday night have quickly spread through the web, drawing widespread condemnation and outrage. While United CEO Oscar Munoz publicly apologized the next day and said the company was investigating the incident, he took a decidedly tougher stance in an internal letter to employees. Instead of acknowledging that the company’s “established procedures” might need to be re-examined, Munoz doubled-down, citing policy and effectively passing the buck. Worse yet, the letter went on to shift the blame to the passenger.
Many organizations make the mistake of not planning for a crisis, thinking it’s either superstitious or somewhat futile. But when dealing with a crisis, you need to be fast, transparent and most of all, prepared, says Linda Rutherford, vice president and chief communications officer with Southwest Airlines. Here are three lessons she has learned from the airline industry and beyond.
Given their broad franchise networks and large customer base—and of course their huge social media audiences—fast-food chains can be seen as guinea pigs for how the public discourse is digitally evolving. Consider the latest high-profile example of how a single Facebook post led to the rapid closure of a Dairy Queen—within 48 hours of being posted.
Holiday shippers are being accused of ruining Christmas for many consumers. They will need to rely on some sincere crisis management to weather the storm.
Paul Walker’s death in a fiery high-speed car crash raises some tough PR questions for Universal. Universal already had a “do as I say, not as I do” PSA starring Walker in the can. As of this morning, the PSA had only 16,593 views on YouTube. Should Universal promote that PSA harder? Make more Walker PSAs?
The contrast between the two railway accidents offers an important juxtaposition in how to handle a crisis, and how not to.
Traditional media and social media alike were churning this morning with reports and commentary on the collapse Wednesday of an eight-story garment factory building in Savar, a suburb of the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka. And… Continued