In the long run, do crisis prep and reputation mean anything? 2022 may provide early answers.
Thanks to advertisers and the media’s focus on engagement as a key metric, crises have surfaced and been amplified at a far higher level in 2021 than they were in 2020. Because they bump up engagement numbers, the plague of misinformation, disinformation, rumors and lies skyrocketed to the top of everyone’s news feed and we all got angrier at everything. And, since anger drives engagement and engagement bolsters advertising revenue, the cycle will just get worse in 2022. But there are lessons we can take with us into the new year from all the messes that CEOs made, and PR pros were asked to clean up.
We expected good things from 2021. Instead, it delivered large doses of frustrating virus protocols, political turmoil, mistrust, disinformation and reputation gaffes. Classic PR blunders generated headlines when leaders failed to learn from history. Here are a few cautionary tales as we look to 2022.
Communications continues to be an essential function, particularly as companies, organizations and individuals continue to wade through pandemic challenges. The PRNEWS editorial team highlights some innovations and predictions we predict will be important for 2022.
Amazon has responded to a deadly warehouse collapse that killed at least six employees with several rote “thoughts and prayers” responses from spokespeople. Add a too-little-too-late comment from executive chairman Jeff Bezos, and any company would find itself in a communications crisis with long-term consequences.
Alec Baldwin should have accepted some responsibility during his first interview since the fatal shooting. Instead, he botched an excellent moment.
What’s the best way to walk back a statement that, with time, becomes a misstatement? There are a number of options: