A PR crisis often becomes a media feeding frenzy. When the crisis involves a media brand and a CEO, it’s a frenzy run amok. Media, like PR, usually abhors being the story. The sexual harassment allegations against CBS chief Les Moonves are far more than the story of a top media executive and his brand wishing to stay out of the news, though. Communicators will be watching closely to see how CBS talks about this crisis, although the network might not be allowed make all its own choices.
It hasn’t been a good week so far for cracker makers and food phobia sufferers. Two snack food giants, Mondelēz Global and Campbell Soup subsidiary Pepperidge Farm, have recalled iconic cracker products because a whey powder supplier has notified them that its ingredient may be tainted by Salmonella, which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever, among other symptoms.
The distinction between misinformation and disinformation is at the heart of Mark Zuckerberg’s thinking about why Holocaust deniers’ material can remain on Facebook. He’s likely debated this thorny question with his senior team. Unfortunately, his comments this week and his subsequent walk back muddled the distinction. In terms of walking back, though, he had plenty of company from other prominent people.
Not all crises are created equal, and thus a crisis plan that was effective for one situation may not work well for another. Given how quickly new technologies emerge, news travels and opinions of communications strategies change in 2018, a plan that was crafted five years ago may be woefully out of date for a current crisis. As such, regular evaluation of your crisis strategy is crucial for success during a stressful time.
It’s possible the world has become immune to emissions-cheating scandals. The latest perpetrator, Nissan, hopes so. Still, it’s practicing nearly picture-perfect PR to reduce its chances of a long-term scandal erupting. Little doubt it has taken notice of steps Volkswagen failed to enact when Dieselgate erupted in September 2015.
During crisis moments, PR professionals tend to focus on how stakeholders and audiences view their brand or client. But of growing concern is what search engines see when a negative news story hits. Whether you’re focusing on crisis proactively or after the fact (and most PR pros would agree you really should be doing both), search engine optimization has a crucial role to play. Here are four ways communicators can learn from Verizon’s SEO practices when it comes to preparing for, monitoring and addressing crises.
More than a hollow and cookie-cutter corporate document, “Toward a Vision for Racial Equity & Inclusion at Starbucks: Review and Recommendations” reads as a realigning of perspectives and priorities. This is the work of a brand that has taken a hard, honest look at itself and is ready to share what it has learned.
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.
In each edition of PR News we highlight takeaways from an article or articles as well as additions to the PR News Resource Center, which is available only to subscribers at https://www.prnewsonline.com/subscriber-resources/
The CCO often is seen as a brand’s last line of defense, in theory supervising what the brand releases externally and monitoring and sometimes responding to what is said about the company outside the corporate walls. In the Netflix case, though, the CCO was the person who made the insensitive remarks. Twice.