crisis management


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August 28, 2012

6 Myths of Crisis Management PR

by: in: communications, crisis management, imPRessions, reputation

In the past several weeks, brands from Burger King and Penn State to Chick-fil-A and CelebBoutique have grappled with serious reputational threats.  These days, it’s almost routine for communications pros to be managing some kind of potential crisis situation along with proactive PR programs. Yet true “crisis management” is probably a misnomer.  Though there are…
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August 24, 2012

Armstrong’s Crisis PR Is In Fighting Form

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation, social media

As evidence that he used performance-enhancing substances has gained traction over the years, cyclist Lance Armstrong always managed to stay out in front, avoiding major reputation damage. Until now. But even now, he may be down, but he’s not out. As he threw in the towel, announcing that he’d no longer contest the US Anti-Doping…
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2
July 17, 2012

Can Penn State’s Reputation Be Saved?

by: in: Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation

Among the casualties of the Penn State sexual abuse coverup were the personal reputations of university officials, including the late football coach and sports icon Joe Paterno. Paterno, Spanier, Curley, Schultz and others will be forever linked to the efforts to minimize and conceal shocking crimes against children. (Who can forget the email in which…
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May 21, 2012

Jamie Dimon’s Apology Tour: Is It Enough?

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, leadership, public relations, reputation

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s apology to shareholders last week managed to fulfill at least three prerequisites for a public mea culpa. It was swift, it was direct, and the CEO took responsibility for the bank’s $3 billion trading loss in a hedge gone wrong. Dimon used words like “egregious,” “sloppy,” “stupid,” and “self-inflicted.”…
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May 14, 2012

Crisis Management: When The Crisis Is The CEO

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, leadership, public relations, reputation

  It’s hard out there for a CEO. Recently, we witnessed a week’s worth of drip-drip-drip coverage about Yahoo chief Scott Thompson’s resume. The gaffe culminated in Thompson’s resignation after only four months on the job. But the controversy, on the surface, wasn’t about whether he’d faked an advanced degree, or falsely claimed Ivy League…
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March 29, 2012

JetBlue’s Response to Pilot Breakdown: Light On Crisis PR Strategy?

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation

All airlines are prone to rough PR weather, but JetBlue seems to have more than its share. Maybe it’s because during a time of rapidly deteriorating expectations, many of us still expect more of JetBlue. It’s that rare industry bird, the customer-friendly airline. An oxymoron. So when it goes off-course, that’s news. There was the…
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March 12, 2012

PR Disaster Averted: 7 Cases of Good Crisis Management

by: in: Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation

PR agency pundits and brand watchers love to create “best and worst” lists around marketing and communications developments.  The emphasis usually falls on the “worsts” – like the most badly handled crisis situations, mangled cover-ups, or PR stunts that backfired. It’s easy to criticize, but what about giving credit for crises averted or PR battles…
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January 16, 2012

Racist Receipts and Other PR Blunders

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation, social media

Is any industry more challenging than retail? Not only is the business tough, but your employees are your brand. And those employees are notoriously transient and often underpaid, overworked, and just plain bored. And sometimes they do things that are just plain stupid. It takes only one misstep, powered by social media, to create a…
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2
January 5, 2012

Fake Twitter Accounts: The Ultimate Status Symbol?

by: in: celebrity, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation, social media

Wendi, we hardly knew ye. The all-too-brief period in which Mrs. Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter was thrilling for Murdoch-watchers, social media pros, and PR  types. It seemed another example of the faux-democratizing power of the social Web. It also showed the cleverness of Ms. Deng, and her uncanny ability to humanize her much-reviled husband….
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December 29, 2011

The Top Ten PR Blunders of 2011

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation

When a serious setback or crisis occurs, not even the most talented PR pro can make it go away. Yet, a poor response invites reputation damage, while proper handling can help mitigate or limit it. Here’s my “Top 10” list, from a communications perspective, of the most badly handled public situations of the year. 10.  Governor…
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November 14, 2011

When PR and Legal Strategies Clash

by: in: Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation

A recent episode of “The Good Wife” offers a highly entertaining look at crisis management inside a law firm and the tension between PR advice and legal counsel. A strategy session for a client whose tainted cheese has sickened dozens of schoolchildren erupts in war between the attorney, who wants to stonewall media calls, and a $60,000-a-month spinmeister (played to…
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November 9, 2011

Un-Happy Valley: Penn State’s Massive PR Fumble

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation

“… I wish to say that Tim Curley and Gary Schultz have my unconditional support. I have known and worked daily with Tim and Gary for more than 16 years. I have complete confidence in how they have handled the allegations about a former University employee.  Tim Curley and Gary Schultz operate at the highest…
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2
November 2, 2011

Herman Cain’s PR Problem

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations

Until recently, Herman Cain had shown himself to be a pretty savvy communicator. The plainspoken ex-pizza prez showed he understands the value of a simple idea, well packaged and often repeated, with his “9-9-9” tax proposal. (No one understood it, he couldn’t really explain it, but everyone knew about it. Can you say that about…
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July 20, 2011

Was The Murdoch’s “Humble Pie” Good PR?

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, social media

As he prepared to face a day’s worth of questioning by British lawmakers about the News Corp. phone-hacking crisis, Rupert Murdoch was set to serve up a carefully crafted statement that began,”This is the most humble day of my life.” But Murdoch was rushed into questioning and had to wait until later to try to…
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July 6, 2011

Recipe For A Twitter Fail: Was Entenmann’s #Guilty of Hashtag Hijacking?

by: in: Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation, social media

Call it a half-baked attempt to be topical…or perhaps, just a mistake. As Twitter erupted following the surprise guilty verdict in the Casey Anthony murder trial, Entenmann’s adopted the rapidly trending #notguilty hashtag to tweet a whimsical update about “eating all the tasty treats you want.” The tweet lasted only minutes. Someone realized the juxtaposition wasn’t…
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July 4, 2011

Craft Beer Fight Over B-Word Rages, With Good Press On Tap

by: in: branding, communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations

The Bitch is back. That’s Flying Dog Brewery’s Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA. Now maybe the name should offend me, but it doesn’t. I don’t actually have a dog in this fight, but I do think it’s fitting that on Thursday, just in time for the July 4th weekend, the state of Michigan reversed a decision…
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June 10, 2011

Apology PR: What Happened To The ‘Good Wife’?

by: in: Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation

For the record, I thought Rep. Anthony Weiner’s apology was fairly strong. He accepted responsibility, admitted that he lied, vowed to change, and issued apologies to practically everyone in the universe, even the Democrats’ Darth Vader, Andrew Breitbart. (Who, in a surreal move, nearly hijacked Weiner’s air time…but that’s another post.) Weiner then subjected himself to endless…
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June 3, 2011

Crisis PR Tips From “Weinergate”

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation, social media

Last night, Jon Stewart mocked his own ambivalence about going below the belt on close friend Rep. Anthony Weiner in a bit that epitomized the appeal of the scandal known as  “Weinergate.” A Tom Brokaw “angel” appeared over one shoulder urging journalistic restraint, while a Don Rickles “devil” on the other side repeated, “But it’s about Weiner’s…
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May 15, 2011

Know a Good PR Firm? Burson Marsteller Needs One

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation

Those giant PR firms just can’t seem to get out of their own way. When Edelman was caught fake-blogging for Wal-Mart, it waited nearly a week before admitting it had hired bloggers to shill for the client while pretending to be just plain folks. This week, the PR world was buzzing after news broke that…
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April 28, 2011

Have Press Agents Become “Suppress” Agents?

by: in: celebrity, communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation, social media

Recently I attended an awards luncheon where a prominent PR woman was honored for her fierce protectiveness of her clients and her way of shutting out press who didn’t promise positive coverage. It made me wonder about the guard-dog publicist in the age of social media. A few days later, I read the New York…
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April 4, 2011

GoDaddy Competitors Move In For the Kill

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation, social media

In posting a gruesome video of his African elephant hunt that went viral last week, GoDaddy Founder Bob Parsons may have shot himself  in the foot, at least from an image standpoint. Parsons spent Friday posting statements and offering interviews in defense of his actions. PETA jumped on the story, instantly closing its GoDaddy hosting account…
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January 30, 2011

“Thanks For Suing Us!” Taco Bell Takes On “Beef-Gate”

by: in: advertising, communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, public relations, reputation

A California woman’s beef with Taco Bell over the ingredients in her taco served up an interesting crisis management case study last week. The food fight has turned into a class-action lawsuit alleging false advertising by the chain. The suit claims its tacos are only 36 percent beef, which, if true, means they wouldn’t even…
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December 28, 2010

The Best PR Moves of 2010

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, public relations, reputation

This year brought well-publicized disasters, misbehaving celebrities, and corporate goofs. But, which individuals and companies communicated most skillfully during 2010? Here are our nominees. Wikileaks. Whether Julian Assange is a hero or a “high-tech terrorist” depends on your point of view. But in 2010 Wikileaks perfected a media relations strategy for maximum impact for the…
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December 21, 2010

Ten Trends That Will Affect Public Relations Pros in 2011

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, public relations, reputation

PR is reaching a golden age, triggered by the growth of social media and new, more relevant metrics. PR is dead, a bridesmaid in the hot pursuit of larger budgets and sexy social programs. The predictions are all over the map, but, as usual, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Here’s our list for…
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October 13, 2010

Crisis Management: Lessons From The Chilean Mine Rescue

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, leadership, public relations, social media

As the world watched, the government of Chile showed not only leadership, but remarkable PR and communications savvy as it sought to free 33 miners trapped underground for over two months. Its handling of the ordeal was like a mirror image of the BP disaster. Here are some crisis management learnings we can unearth from…
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October 11, 2010

The Gap’s New Logo: Bad Fit or Savvy PR Move?

by: in: branding, communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, public relations, social media

It almost seemed like a PR stunt. When the Gap replaced its iconic logo with a new visual identity, Gap-watchers were not just alienated.  They seemed to take it personally. It was as if a fortyish suburban dad suddenly hired a downtown stylist. Branding experts decried the Helvetica font with its tech-y box as “lazy,” and fashion bloggers rejected…
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August 26, 2010

A Sorry State: How We Apologize

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, public relations, reputation, social media

As every PR professional knows, an artful public apology is a staple of reputation management – just ask Toyota, BP, or Goldman Sachs. A cottage industry has been created that’s dedicated to what I call “apology PR.” But, apologizing is also a key piece of the social CRM toolkit, which communicators are rapidly learning and…
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August 19, 2010

Did HP Get Bad PR Advice?

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, leadership, public relations, reputation

A seat at the table. That’s how those of us in PR often put it when we talk about the role of public relations counsel in the corporate suite. Since the PR function is easily misunderstood, marginalized, or reduced to tactics, it’s a popular topic in professional circles. We want that seat, and we applaud signs…
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