Crisis Management

US Olympic athlete Alysia Montano

Nike’s Quick Response to Maternity Snafu Shows Brand’s PR Acumen

May 21st, 2019 by

Nike found itself in the midst of a major PR crisis when The New York Times published an opinion piece on Mother’s Day revealed Nike did not provide pregnant athletes with paid maternity leave. Nike has now released a statement saying that all future contracts will be written to protect pregnant athletes from discrimination. In this action, Nike is clearly following the crisis management playbook and changed the narrative in its favor in its quick remediation. What can we, as PR professionals, learn from this?

University of Maryland’s Latest Crisis Shows It Hasn’t Learned a Thing

May 21st, 2019 by

The communications team at University of Maryland College Park must know that its past year has been bereft with poor decision-making. Last fall, the school  made headlines for its poor handling of a crisis after student and athlete Jordan McNair was found dead following a rigorous football practice. Now the beleaguered school finds another crisis on its hands, once again exacerbated by poor communications and a defensive strategy that horribly backfired.

How to Help Your Client Deal With Negative Online Reviews

May 20th, 2019 by

Getting a negative review, let alone one that goes viral, is a moment every PR pro dreads. But if a business provides a product or service, it’s unlikely they’ll completely avoid ever getting a bad review from an unsatisfied customer. In today’s click-happy environment and the ease with which people can post opinions online, ire is often taken out in words and on reputation. But there are some things you can do to control the situation and mitigate the damage.

Tips for How PR Pros Should Answer Media Questions

May 15th, 2019 by

There’s no rule in media relations that says communicators need to answer a reporter’s question immediately, particularly during a crisis. Never lie to a reporter, but sometimes doing the best thing for a brand means deferring on a question until you’re ready with an answer that’s carefully crafted. Veteran communicator Arthur Solomon offers tips about how to do this well.

Philip Morris’ Social Media Snafu Hurts Its Image Turnaround

May 14th, 2019 by

We can speculate about why Wells Fargo created bogus credit cards or the motivation other brands had for doing things they knew were wrong or even illegal. Tobacco giant Philip Morris International is trying to remake itself into a purveyor of smoke-less product. It says it wants to discourage teen smoking. Then why was it flouting its own rules and using young, attractive influencers to tout its cigarette alternative?

What’s in Your Digital Go-Bag? Five Essentials for Communicators

May 1st, 2019 by

Communicators know it can be difficult to manage a crisis. What about if you’re asked to handle a crisis when the power is down, or you can’t access the Internet or your phone? Better have a digital go-bag ready. Though Adam Probolsky has made preparations for a zombie apocalypse, he also has suggestions for what communicators should pack in their digital go-bags to handle more mundane crises.

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.

Brands Urged to Make Operational Changes That Lower Risk Before an Issue Becomes a Crisis

May 1st, 2019 by

Our regular Stealable Slide feature looks at a slide Kevin Elliott of Hill + Knowlton Strategies presented during PRNEWS’ Crisis Management Summit in Miami Beach last March. Interestingly, Elliott says the key lesson the slide illustrates is not seen on the slide itself.

How Community Engagement Can Calm a Crisis

April 30th, 2019 by

When you don’t check the pulse of your surrounding community, you risk losing media opportunities and relationship-building moments that could drive more customers to your brand. And when a crisis arises, community engagement can make or break you.

How Big Pharma Can Start to Heal Its Reputation In the Opioid Epidemic

April 25th, 2019 by

The opioid epidemic has touched one in three Americans, a new survey from NPR and Ipsos shows. In addition, pharma’s narrative about its role in the epidemic has failed to resonate with a significant majority of the American public. What steps should industry communicators take to rehabilitate pharma’s reputation with the public? Crisis communications provides a possible option.