The USPS responded to President Trump’s executive order by aligning with his frustrations and acknowledging that it has several opportunities to improve. As a case study, this statement provides communicators with a practical, tactical example of how to handle criticism and calls for reform when those calls come from the very top.
In a video filmed at Robbins’ “Unleash the Power Within” event, the self-help guru told his audience of thousands that women were relying on #MeToo to “try to get significance and certainty by attacking and destroying someone else.” Audience member Nanine McCool is shown attempting to explain to Robbins that he misunderstood the importance of #MeToo before being interrupted by him with more provocative statements and actions. But is this purely bad PR for Robbins in this era?
Is it better for a company to own a bad situation and communicate about the underlying issue or remain silent and hope it all goes away? That was the predicament for Morgan Stanley recently when a front-page story in the NY Times exposed the company knew a star employee was battling repeated accusations from multiple parties of physical abuse and stalking. Claudia Keith, chief communications officer of the City of Palo Alto, CA, argues Morgan Stanley’s response will hurt its reputation and bottom line.
Several early media reports about yesterday’s awful shooting at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, CA, linked the alleged shooter’s actions to YouTube policies on monetization of videos and prohibiting gun-related content. In reality the shooter likely was mentally disturbed as there can be no justification for shooting at innocent people. What can brand communicators learn from this incident?
The U.S. public is feeling empowered to use social media to document or talk about a company’s wrong doing. The latest target seems to be Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham, whose taunting of a Parkland student on Twitter sent one dozen brands fleeing from her show. A question for brand communicators: How do you protect your company’s reputation in this fast-moving name and shame environment? APCO’s Katie Sprehe has several suggestions.
Following a data breach by an unknown party in February, Under Armour—MyFitnessPal’s parent company—released an email on March 29 notifying users of the incident. In the email, Under Armour explained that the hack was initially discovered on March 25, and “the affected information included usernames, email addresses, and hashed passwords—the majority with the hashing function called bcrypt used to secure passwords.”
Weber Shandwick’s crisis management work for Michigan State University (MSU) has come to light, dealing a blow to the industry’s reputation—and raising questions about the agency’s client-vetting process. While the price tag is raising some eyebrows—Weber Shandwick billed MSU for more than $500,000 for one month’s work—the real question for PR pros is, what should agencies do when they consider taking on a controversial client, particularly in the age of #MeToo?
Following a lengthy lashing in the press and the loss of $95 billion in market value over the last week, Facebook has taken steps to make it easier for users to control the privacy of their personal data. The platform rolled out redesigned security settings that allow users to control what personal information the social network and its third-party apps can store. Yet some data—such as records of the ads that users clicked on—will still be visible.
Heineken is facing a backlash on social media for a Heineken Light advertisement that many are calling racist. The offending ad portrayed a bottle of Heineken Light sliding across a bar past black patrons and into a white customer’s hands, along with the tagline, “Sometimes, lighter is better.” Two crisis management experts weigh in on this latest messaging fumble.
Savvy communicators know that having a crisis plan in place before a situation emerges is crucial for any brand. But not every negative comment requires a full-scale mobilization of the proverbial troops. Some social media crises can be mitigated before they gain widespread attention. Taking a tiered approach to crisis management strategy is important for avoiding blunders. By examining your company’s audience and vulnerabilities ahead of time, you can create protocols for each tier.