crisis management

4
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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5
August 15, 2010

The Steven Slater Effect: Has JetBlue Lost Its Cool?

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

Steven Slater’s slide to freedom took less than a day to establish him as a folk hero. The reasons are obvious. Who hasn’t wanted to make an, um, emergency exit from a miserable job with that kind of flourish? It was just one employee who lost his cool, in a big way. But did his exit signal a downhill slide…
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12
June 17, 2010

What PR People Can Learn From BP

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

Let’s get one thing straight. The Gulf Oil spill isn’t a PR problem. It’s an environmental disaster that no PR team, no matter how skilled, could clean up. The public relations crisis comes with BP’s lack of preparedness for the gusher, and with the communications in its wake. But, all calamities offer learnings. What lessons can we extract from…
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6
May 24, 2010

Is Facebook Evil, or Just Clueless?

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

Shall I quit Facebook? Facebook’s recent fumble along policy, technology, and PR lines has many asking the question for the first time. Not just privacy activists or technophobes. But, regular people who are pretty savvy about the social Web. The perception is morphing from irritation to doubts about its integrity. That’s not a good thing. I’ve never…
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5
May 20, 2010

When Fans Attack: How To Defend A Brand’s Reputation Online

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

A social media presence can morph from PR asset to liability in the time it takes to say “brandjacking.” The recent takeover of Nestle’s Facebook page by Greenpeace activists has many brand marketers dusting off their crisis programs.  But the world has changed. How do you defend your brand if, despite good business and communications practices,…
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11
May 9, 2010

Disaster Branding: How BP’s Green PR Backfired

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

Quick, which company was responsible for the catastrophic natural gas leak in Bhopal, India, the worst industrial accident in modern history? What about the corporation that created the infamous toxic brew known as Love Canal in Niagara Falls, New York? Man-made disasters are usually named, and remembered, for their locations. That won’t be true in the case of the recent…
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2
April 30, 2010

The Goldman Sachs Hearings: A Sh**ty Deal For Taxpayers

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

  What more is there to say about this week’s financial hearings? Goldman Sachs executives, including the infamous “Fabulous Fab” Tourre, were grilled, lectured, and scolded by members of a Senate panel in a much-anticipated spectacle this week. But, instead of Watergate redux, the hearings played out more like a group of middle school principals rebuking eighth-graders. Sure,…
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2
April 18, 2010

Wall Street’s Apology – So Far, Just PR?

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

Two former banking executives got another workout last week. So did the “apology PR” movement. This time it was Citibank ex-CEO Charles Prince and former director Robert Rubin. Under the hot glare of cameras – and the even more heated glares from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, each expressed the most sincere-sounding contrition to date…
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2
April 5, 2010

After Sea World and Nestle, How Risky is Social Media?

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

I once had a client whose CEO was so PR-averse that his response to requests for media interviews was the Zen-like platitude, “The spouting whale gets harpooned.” That unfortunate phrase popped into my head as I read stories like “Shamu Attack Exposes Social Media Risks.” The Orlando Sentinel and others recounted how @Shamu, the Twitter feed set…
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2
March 11, 2010

Goldman Sachs And The Cost of Bad PR

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

What’s a reputation worth? For most businesses, there’s an obvious cost to negative publicity. Sure, a few are still stuck in the “any PR is good PR” camp.  And then there are those for whom public perception simply doesn’t matter.  A year ago, I would have put Goldman Sachs in that category. With a track record of breathtaking…
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9
March 5, 2010

The Future of Celebrity Endorsement, Post-Tiger

by: in: advertising, branding, celebrity, communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, marketing, public relations, reputation, social media

Last night I had the pleasure of speaking at a symposium sponsored by The Cardozo Arts and Entertainment Law Journal. The topic was “The Tiger Woods Effect” on celebrity endorsement, contract negotiation, morals clauses, and a host of other legal, marketing and PR issues. Here’s my take on the discussion, from a strictly brand marketing perspective. Brands…
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3
February 21, 2010

Why PR Advice Is The Last Thing Tiger Woods Needs

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

The Tiger Woods soap opera isn’t just a gift to the tabloid press. It’s been a championship season for PR and crisis management advice. Even before the latest statement hit the Web, communications experts were scrambling to rehash the criticisms of last November and offer another round of self-serving counsel about what Woods should do to get his reputation out…
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7
January 30, 2010

What Goldman Can Learn From Toyota: Apology Communications

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

Lately, the public apology has been cheapened to the point of commodity. Hardly a month passes without a tearful, televised mea culpa from a politician or athlete. On the corporate front, the typical PR offering is more along the lines of “mistakes were made” – a masterful mouthful of nothingspeak. The banking industry’s contrition is…
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1
January 22, 2010

Royal Caribbean In Haiti: A Tough Call

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

  When I first read about the Royal Caribbean Line ship that docked at Haiti’s Labadee beach shortly after the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince, I was taken aback. To say it created a royal PR problem for the cruise line was an understatement. The storm of criticism was so fierce that it was hard to glean the facts. After…
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7
January 18, 2010

What PR Boom?: Why The Recession Hasn't Helped Public Relations

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

Like  my peers, I was interested to read the latest article about our industry in The Economist. Titled “Good News,” the piece posits that PR has profited during the recession, since so many companies have suffered business and reputation declines. It cites the latest Veronis Suhler Stevenson data indicating a 3% growth for the PR business in…
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22
January 2, 2010

Ten Trends Affecting PR Professionals In 2010

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

Despite their overabundance this time of year, I’m a fan of lists. They impose structure and order on what is actually messy, imperfect, and disorderly. But, because I missed the 2009 list window I’ve taken a crack at identifying the major trends affecting our business and what they’ll mean in 2010 and beyond. 1.   Social…
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2
December 11, 2009

Will Tiger Woods Sink Celebrity Endorsement?

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

  The seemingly endless Tiger Woods scandal, and the well-worn implications for PR and crisis management, have me thinking instead about another aspect of our business – the celebrity endorsement. In this case, the negative fallout is so dramatic – and so unanticipated – that I have to wonder. Could brands become wary of getting…
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3
December 4, 2009

How Method Cleaned Up A PR Mess

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

How do you clean up a PR mess? That’s the question Method, the natural cleaning products company, asks after a video created to rally support for the Household Products Labeling Act, which would mandate disclosure of chemical ingredients in common cleansers, somehow went toxic. It went from being the toast of the ad world to…well, just toast….
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3
October 15, 2009

Did Amp Turn Up The Volume With #pepsifail?

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

As I’ve noted previously, good public relations sometimes means having to say you’re sorry. “Apology communications” is a PR buzzword these days. But, when is an apology something else altogether? (Hint: When it involves 18-year-old dudes, maybe?) What got me wondering was the backlash to the Amp energy drink campaign. Of course, I’m talking about the now-infamous iPhone app created…
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0
October 5, 2009

Is David Letterman A PR Genius?

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

PR agency and crisis management pundits are saying that Letterman’s handling of last week’s bizarre extortion plot against him was a public relations masterstroke. As the world knows, Letterman chose to recount his experience last Thursday in a ten-minute monologue – but not his usual kind. Somewhere in those ten minutes, the late-night host admitted…
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4
August 21, 2009

Whole Foods, Healthcare, And The "S-Word"

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

Partly because it’s in my building, but also because I like and admire the company, I feel bad when Whole Foods is attacked. I’m referring to CEO John Mackey’s Wall Street Journal editorial that has many customers threatening to hang up their reusable shopping bags for good. The piece, which essentially argued for fiscal restraint and individual empowerment, has…
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2
July 17, 2009

Can United Fix Its Broken Reputation?

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

After musician Dave Carroll’s pricey guitar was damaged following a United Airlines trip to Nebraska back in 2008, the guitar wasn’t the only thing that that took a beating. Now, United is grappling with a battered reputation, and Carroll has become a poster child for frustrated consumers. If you somehow missed the story, here’s the summary. After…
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0
July 15, 2009

The Art of Saying Nothing

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

Since Samuel Alito’s famous confirmation hearings where he hedged even the question of whether he liked Bruce Springsteen, the art of saying nothing has gained favor in high-stakes Washington proceedings. The latest case is Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.  Her carefully scripted answers, calm demeanor and physical composure throughout two days of hearings have been remarkable.  Michael Wolff implied…
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4
June 29, 2009

PR Means Having To Say You’re Sorry

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

The sad and sudden demise of pop superstar Michael Jackson may have knocked Governor Mark Sanford off the front pages for a weekend, but it didn’t let him off the hook. Governor Sanford’s may have been the most ill-conceived and badly delivered apology of the decade. And, that’s saying something.  I was one of several PR…
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2
June 26, 2009

Why Are They Saying Those Things About You?

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

  A while back, I was startled to see some harsh criticism of me on an IT Internet forum. People were calling Dorothy Crenshaw incompetent and even demanding that I be fired…which I thought was pretty unfair considering I didn’t have a clue what they were talking about.  Of course, it wasn’t about me.  It turned out that…
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0
May 12, 2009

Facebook and Holocaust Deniers: Reaching A Boil

by: in: Crenshaw Communications, crisis management

Over the past several days the blogosphere’s been on fire with news of Facebook’s refusal to take down pages by groups who deny that the Holocaust occurred.  In defending its policy, Facebook spokesperson Barry Schnitt said, “We want (the site) to be a place where people can discuss all kinds of ideas, including controversial ones.”  To those pressing Facebook to…
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0
April 30, 2009

Branding A Pandemic or "Aporkalypse Now"

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

The media buzz surrounding the influenza virus formerly known as swine flu has resulted in an epidemic of both controversy and criticism.  Is it overkill? Many think so. But over the past 24 hours, the PR offensive around the flu hasn’t been about prevention or panic…it’s about the virus’s brand.  As of yesterday, the World…
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