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Crisis Communications

The 'Front Page Rule'

Melissa Schwartz | Posted 04.17.2014 | Media
Melissa Schwartz

Despite an organization's best efforts at reputation management, a nasty (or worse yet, entertaining) anecdote about leadership can go viral in an instant.

One Lesson We Must Learn From the Boston Marathon Bombing

J. Peter Donald | Posted 04.16.2014 | Crime
J. Peter Donald

Despite warnings and near-constant reminders, many governments and first-responder agencies haven't thought thoroughly about communicating with the public during a crisis. In fact, most haven't even written a crisis communications plan.

The Road to Redemption for Self Magazine

Melissa Schwartz | Posted 04.03.2014 | Media
Melissa Schwartz

Organizations should take note of Self's experience as they contemplate ways to engage consumers. Humor is a great way to stimulate curiosity, but it has its pitfalls.

Just Spell My Stock Symbol Right

John P. David | Posted 03.21.2014 | Business
John P. David

One day last week, my wife called me and she was aghast regarding the story of Josh Hardy, a seven-year-old cancer survivor from Virginia who is suffe...

Torment, Anger and Poor Communicating

Chris Komisarjevsky | Posted 03.16.2014 | Business
Chris Komisarjevsky

As we enter the second week of the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, we are hearing more and more questions raised about the ability of the ...

What Association "Power and Influence" Really Means in Washington

David K. Rehr | Posted 02.26.2014 | Business
David K. Rehr

I am not advocating that senior leaders of organizations take an oath of poverty. Instead, expenditures on CEO trappings are "opportunity costs" -- money that could be used for other purposes, including building your congressional reputation or industry image.

Sometimes You Have to Dig in and Play Rough

John P. David | Posted 02.21.2014 | Miami
John P. David

One doesn't typically equate Miami with prehistoric ruins, but today the city has a bona fide archaeological controversy on its hands. And while my knowledge of antiquities is best measured by how many times I have seen Raiders of the Lost Ark, I do know a good PR mess when I see one.

Online Image Repair: From 'Do Nothing' to 'Black Ops'

John P. David | Posted 04.08.2014 | Business
John P. David

Restaurants get bad reviews, businesses get slammed for poor customer service, and some people have Internet skeletons which inconveniently appear in search engine results. What does one do if this happens? The spectrum of solutions runs wide from "let it ride" to engaging in black ops activities.

Navigating the Waters of Bad Press

Gabrey Means | Posted 04.08.2014 | Small Business
Gabrey Means

Whether it's discontinuing their favorite product, having an ad campaign they find annoying or being in a line of business they don't support, there won't be an answer that satisfies them.

What Does the Source Say?

John P. David | Posted 03.17.2014 | Media
John P. David

If you are ever in a situation where you want to share sensitive information with a journalist, the most important rule (after calling a PR person to help you) is to set very clear ground rules about attribution before the conversation starts.

Coming Out About Rape and Crisis Connections

Scott Gessford | Posted 03.16.2014 | Gay Voices
Scott Gessford

Last summer, two guys raped me. They chose to have their way with me during a compromised state, and it was a traumatic experience made worse by their choices not to use condoms and not to take needed HIV medication. Thus began my disconnection.

SeaWorld Fires Back Over Blackfish

Ronn Torossian | Posted 02.26.2014 | Media
Ronn Torossian

SeaWorld supporters may be swayed, as it's an interesting approach to a PR crisis -- In addressing the conversation without directly addressing the catalyst for the conversation, it's a smart PR tactic.

Blackfish Backlash Continues

John P. David | Posted 02.15.2014 | Green
John P. David

From what I know about orca public relations, I think SeaWorld's got a big problem.

US Airways Kicks Blind Man Off Plane and Employs the 'Ostrich Strategy' to Public's Outrage

Reid Wegley | Posted 01.23.2014 | Business
Reid Wegley

I hope I'm asking this question on behalf of the majority of my peers, but which school of thought produced the Ostrich strategy in regards to responding to customer service, and ultimately, public relations issues?

Atlanta Burns With Anger: The Braves PR Disaster

Mark Pettit | Posted 01.23.2014 | Business
Mark Pettit

The news hit the city's ego like a bean ball to the noggin' -- and didn't even come with a brush back warning pitch.

Digital Reality Meets Jurassic Park

John P. David | Posted 01.23.2014 | Small Business
John P. David

Whether we like it or not, the digital world helps define who we are. It's best to address it now and prevent potential chaos.

Gulliver's Twitter

Michael Ramah | Posted 01.23.2014 | Business
Michael Ramah

As more of the marketing function is digitized, some consumers will always exploit their access and amplification to create needless trouble for the companies unfortunate enough to cross their paths. But no matter how hard, brands must always remember that whenever they sink to that level, they lose.

Communications and Obamacare: Promises Burned, Opportunities Missed

Liz Wainger | Posted 01.23.2014 | Business
Liz Wainger

The PR that preceded the launch of reminds us just how important it is to make sure any communications effort does not get too far ahead of the product or cause being promoted. So how do you avoid the quagmire?

Catastrophic Success at Trader Joe's

John P. David | Posted 12.31.2013 | Miami
John P. David

High demand coupled with limited supply and poor delivery lead to backlash which can actually damage a brand. It almost never happens.

Football's Summer Crime Spree

John P. David | Posted 10.02.2013 | Sports
John P. David

Apologist-sounding answers aside, I think the NFL and big-time college football need to address this image issue sooner than later. Reputations and ticket sales are at stake.

Branding Lessons from Asiana Airlines

Jim Joseph | Posted 09.10.2013 | Travel
Jim Joseph

I think the little-known Asiana Airlines has behaved like a pro amidst what we all know to be a devastating crisis. The company is following the golden rule of both branding and crisis management: be completely transparent.

In a Crisis, Work the Plan But Skip the Media Lynching

Kimberly Krautter | Posted 06.17.2013 | Crime
Kimberly Krautter

The Boston Marathon bombing was a very unhappy déjà vu for all of us involved with the Olympic Park Bombing in 1996. Not only was I conducting a photo shoot in the sound tower where the bomb was placed that night, I was on the crisis team that had to manage the aftermath of the explosion.

The Trouble With Naming Rights

John P. David | Posted 06.12.2013 | Miami
John P. David

We can prevent thousands of future public relations problems by implementing one simple rule: Never name something after a living person.

Carnival's Social Nightmare

John P. David | Posted 05.27.2013 | Business
John P. David

Aside from offering an outlet for professional and amateur comedy writers to try new material, social media plays an increasing role in how we learn about crises and disasters -- and also how communications and PR pros must respond to the same mishaps.

Seven Strategies for Doing Business in Times of Crisis

Fabienne Fredrickson | Posted 02.19.2013 | Business
Fabienne Fredrickson

Did we do everything right in response to the tragedies? No. But we're learning and applying what we've learned to our Best Practices so that as a company we can continue to get better at what we do, continue to improve our service to our customers and clients, and to always, always put people first.