Before social media, an exchange between a PR pro and a journalist was akin to what goes on in Vegas. It stayed in Vegas. Now, though, some reporters seem to revel in exposing the miscues of communicators, writes Frank Ahrens, the former VP of corporate communications at Hyundai Motor and now a VP at BGR PR. Pro tip: Write email pitches with the understanding they could turn up on social media.
Good news and bad news. One of the most anticipated events of the year, SXSW, begins today in Austin, Texas. Yet with thousands of brands from all over the world descending on the festival, how can your brand break through with it narrative? Neuroscience and deep research might hold the answers, argues 5WPR EVP Matthew Caiola.
There’s more research showing CSR is no longer a nice-to-have, writes Judith Rowland of FleishmanHillard. Consumers expect brands to take stands on social issues or risk losing their business. And brands must walk the walk. The research found that 47 percent of engaged customers are less or not at all likely to purchase from companies whose business practices are inconsistent with their CSR promises.
While anecdotal evidence shows many or even most recent PR crises were self-induced and therefore predictable and preventable, more than a few “come out of the blue,” says Emma Monks, head of trust and safety at Crisp, a social media issue detection and crisis monitoring firm. Fortunately, many of the same tactics used in predictable crises are of use in managing unexpected #PR crises, Monks says.
One-size-fits-all is great for some things, but it rarely works when managing a PR crisis. Recent evidence is the statement the New England Patriots issued when its owner was caught in a sting operation. Uttering a quick denial of alleged wrongdoing is a bad move unless you can back up your statement with facts. Better to say you’ll wait to comment until more facts are available and move on.
PR crises are winnable, says Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ crisis chief and managing partner Kevin Elliott. In fact, organizations should see crises as opportunities to display their bona fides to the market. He cites research showing brands that manage a PR crisis well can and do improve their market value.
Executives from APCO Worldwide studied the campaign against Nike and Colin Kaepernick on Twitter and found it wasn’t as widespread or authentic as it seemed at first glance. They conclude that brands should avoid rushing to respond to what appears to be negative social sentiment. Instead, they urge brands to study the elements behind anti-brand content before responding.
A former chairman of Burson-Marsteller Jim Lindheim takes you inside a PR crisis, where he emphasizes the importance of solving issues within and outside the C-suite and boardroom. His insight into crisis also forms the basis for his recent novel, which he teases here along with excellent crisis-management tips.
Media training normally centers on hitting all the talking points and avoiding topic land mines. What’s missing is an understanding of what goes on after that, when the story lands in the newsroom. This knowledge can help once an interview is over and the expectation for coverage begins. Here are a few tips to improve the experience.
Influencers can be a boon to brands and organizations. They help attract a youthful demographic and provide third-party credibility and authenticity to a company’s narrative. With all these positives, companies can overlook proper vetting of influencers. 5WPR chief Ronn Torossian provides tips on what to look for in an influencer relationship.