If you’re feeling like there is a new business crisis in the news every day, you’re not wrong. There were more than 800,000 crises reported in the media globally in 2017, and that number has continued to grow. So it’s more important than ever for brands to think about crisis not in terms of if one will happen, but when. Responding to a crisis is really about preparing ahead of time, so make sure you have a robust plan in place so that you can handle anything that comes your way.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) took what some consider a bold first step in response to the PA grand jury report on sexual abuse in the church earlier this week. While it’s far from clear whether or not the USCCB is acting on its own or in coordination with the Vatican, it’s the second time in recent weeks that the bishops have spoken out about sexual abuse scandals.
Mention the crisis FEMA is dealing with at the moment and most people probably think you’re referring to the agency’s work to assist residents of the Carolinas as they battle flooding from Hurricane Florence. Instead you could be thinking of the travel scandal challenging FEMA administrator Brock Long. Part of Long’s problem is a PR issue: the government administrator brand is tainted.
Considering how often President Trump attacks him, special counsel Robert Mueller seems to be ignoring the PR maxim that if you don’t write your own narrative, someone else will do it for you. On the other hand, Mueller might prefer to allow the 30+ indictments he’s produced to do the talking for him.
Goldman Sachs offered a blanket denial to the reporting from a story published earlier this week in the New York Times, which accuses Goldman of dismissing claims from a top executive who used the firm’s own whistleblower hotline to call out a litany of ethical violations he saw from the inside. Goldman’s statements on the matter call to question why transparency and accountability remain so difficult for the bank to put into practice, and its statements similarly raise more questions.
As Hurricane Florence makes its way towards the U.S. Eastern seaboard, officials are urging residents of coastal North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to evacuate before the storm makes landfall. But, as with all with major storms, some people just won’t listen. Communicators across government agencies and political offices alike must contend with skepticism, fear and just plain stubbornness from constituents when making announcements about hurricane preparedness and evacuation.
After an Emirates Airline flight originating from Dubai landed in New York just after 9 a.m. on Sept. 5 with over 100 passengers complaining of illness symptoms, the spread of information was seemingly as swift as the reported illness. And as is typical during public health concerns, much of the information was later proven to be incorrect or misleading.
It may be difficult to separate personal feelings from professional ones when considering the story of Stephen Bannon, the former Trump White House strategist, being dis-invited to appear at the New Yorker Festival next month. Nevertheless, the incident provides several timely lessons for communicators in these uncertain times.
A new study from PR News and Dataminr finds nearly 40% of PR professionals lack immediate access to breaking information. Roughly the same percentage admits developments about their brand caught them off-guard.
There have been a slew of PR crises this summer, so we asked Hill + Knowlton head of crisis/risk Kevin Elliott and kglobal crisis SVP Scott Sobel for their take on several: the response to the PA Grand Jury report; Les Moonves and CBS; MoviePass; Elon Musk: and the death of Jordan McNair, a football player at the University of Maryland. While Elliott and Sobel agree on the importance of a rapid response and transparency, the particulars of the responses and tactics in the various crises divided these experts in several cases.