Stories by KATIE PAINE

Boneheaded Benchmarking: 2019’s Worst PR Flubs Offer Plenty of Lessons

January 7th, 2020 by

Our crisis and measurement columnist Katie Paine looks at 2019’s worst crises. She also offers lessons learned from what she sees as the year’s top PR crises. The overarching theme is that a “boneheaded” CEO’s approach to crisis can ruin a company’s reputation, trust and financial standing.

The UAW and GE: Silence Breeds Mistrust, Action Conveys Commitment

September 1st, 2019 by

The United Auto Workers (UAW) and General Electric Corp. (GE) took different paths in their crisis response. GE spoke out quickly, questioning accusations of an Enron-like fraud. More than that, its CEO invested $2 million of his own money into the company. The UAW, however, has barely addressed the fraud charges some of its leaders have faced. Its membership is getting restless.

The DR, Deutsche Bank Attack Crises Differently, But Get Similar Results

July 1st, 2019 by

This month Katie Paine looks at two crises in organizations that couldn’t be more different. First she analyzes the so-called mysterious deaths of Americans in The Dominican Republic; then she looks at scandal-plagued Deutsche Bank. The two took different crisis management approaches, though both ended up with similar results.

Rushed to Market: Boeing Stands Firm on 737, Samsung Delays High-Tech Phone

May 1st, 2019 by

Measurement guru Katie Paine provides her take on Boeing’s (737 Max 8) and Samsung’s (Fold phone) crisis-management strategies. Her verdict is that neither company did a good job, though the negative implications seem to be lighter for Samsung.

Botched Responses: Patriots Issue Quick Denial, Huawei Chooses Charm

March 1st, 2019 by

Veteran PR guru Katie Paine looks at the crisis responses of the New England Patriots and the Chinese company Huawei. She gives neither one of them a passing grade.

Botched Crises of 2018 Show the Need for Speed, Transparency in 2019

January 1st, 2019 by

2018 was a blockbuster year, but only if measured in the number of boneheaded moves brands and executives made time after time. The surfeit of poor crisis responses has provided myriad lessons that should be used in 2019, Katie Paine argues.

Nike and Columbia Gas Show Two Sides of Silence During a Crisis

October 1st, 2018 by

Last month in these pages there was a discussion of how quickly brands and organizations should react to PR crises. An immediate reaction is rarely advisable, although in situations where public safety is

Burger King and the EPA Wrestle for Crown of Worst Crisis Communicator

July 1st, 2018 by

Often organizations try too hard to either capitalize on hot news topics or avoid them altogether. Neither strategy is particularly effective. Our resident crisis and measurement guru Katie Paine takes a look at Burger King’s whopping disasters overseas and how the EPA’s attempts at staying out of the headlines have backfired royally.

Ambien Loses No Sleep on Roseanne; Purdue Pharma Hooked on 80s Crisis Tactics

June 5th, 2018 by

Katie Paine looks at how two crises were handled. Sanofi’s Twitter retort to Roseanne Barr’s shot at Ambien for allowing her to create insensitive tweets and Purdue Pharma’s missteps at the outset of the situation and its close-lipped handling of the OxyContin-addiction mess. In the end, every compelling narrative needs a villain, Paine writes

Tesla, White House Correspondents’ Assoc. Stumble Through News Cycles

May 8th, 2018 by

Brands and organizations can rest on their laurels no longer. Even darlings of the media and Wall Street, such as Tesla, are prone to crises these days. Katie Paine looks at how Tesla and founder Elon Musk and the White House Correspondents’ Association handled recent crises.