Today is Amazon Prime Day. It’s a day (or two) of deep discounts on everything from electronics to apparel and household items. But the highly publicized event has grabbed headlines instead for timed global protests and a work stoppage in Minnesota. Some Amazon staff are upset with working conditions and employment policies. Amazon has not publicly responded—and what happens next is an important case study in handling an internal comms crisis.
Crisis management may be the topic du jour in the communications industry, but it still seems like with every new day, another big brand or Fortune 500 company with massive PR resources is enmeshed in some kind of crisis. Why do they keep screwing up? And how can you make sure your brand is ready to do better when crisis strikes?
Companies may expend tremendous energy and time to find the right influencer for their brand. Unfortunately, they often fail to look deeply into an influencer’s past for clues of potential future behavior. Although many details surrounding a recent incident in Denmark remain unclear, it reminds us of the need for companies to research the reputation of influencers before going into business with them.
Companies frequently look for images to help convey ideas internally. For KFC, the image of a basketball team is applied to crisis management. Ahead of the PRNEWS webinar, “Crisis Management Tips to Keep You Cool in the Hot Seat,” July 25, KFC’s global public affairs manager Tori Carter explains basketball’s application to crisis. She also discusses the element of surprise in crisis simulation.
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.
We rarely cover live events in this publication. PRNEWS senior content manager Sophie Maerowitz gave us a reason to make an exception. She attended a PRSA session featuring former Hearst executive Joanna Coles, who offered so many interesting tips and tactics that we had to share them with you. Here are some gems from the sharp yet blunt mind of Coles.
What are your choices for the top PR crises of 2019’s first six months? As is her custom, Solomon McCown & Company president Ashley McCown goes out on a limb, picking her top five and presenting them in this short video. Can you guess what her quintet of PR crises will be? One hint: her top picks involves a global brand that was a leader in its sector, at least it was prior to its crisis.
If “purpose” is to last as one of PR’s top buzzwords, brands need to step up their game. Already in the past few weeks we’ve seen Nike forced to adjust its purpose concerning treatment of pregnant spokespeople. Now Google, which espouses free speech, among other lofty values, is warning staff there will be repercussions should they protest as Google employees during this weekend’s Pride festivities in San Francisco. Apparently for Google, free speech has its limits.
Big corporations can often find themselves in the middle of a crisis, whether intentional or unintentional. Google’s success contributed to the dominant wealth of Silicon Valley, and the corresponding real estate increases. Other companies have also been caught in the crosshairs of natural, ethical and cultural disasters. Their response or silence can determine future success. What are the key tactics for companies to emerge graciously from a fall from favor?
Nur Ashour, founder of cooking blog Catastrophic Cook, took to Twitter over the weekend to report that she was harassed “for wearing a hijab.” The incident occurred at a Dallas Starbucks. At first glance, it might seem to be a case of a brand being dragged into a potential crisis. Going deeper, that’s not quite it. Ashour’s complaint is against the woman who harassed her, but also includes Starbucks employees who, she alleges, did not come to her aid.