reputation

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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8
April 21, 2010

Web Anonymity and The Future of Reputation

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

The anonymous Web is like Freud’s id – a seething mass of pure impulse beneath a civil surface, in constant need of tamping down. While I believe wholeheartedly in free speech, it’s pretty clear that our Constitution’s framers didn’t envision ChatRoulette… or even the anonymous online comments section of the average newspaper. The balance between privacy…
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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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1
March 1, 2010

When Not To Hire A PR Firm

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

Like Tolstoy’s observation about unhappy families, relationships between clients and their PR agencies go bad for different reasons. That’s why I can’t respond directly to a piece in today’s Huffington Post that questions the relevance of PR firms today. Grant Cardone’s “Do PR Firms Make Sense Anymore?” recounts his failed and apparently fruitless relationships with three…
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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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4
December 9, 2009

Why Climategate's An Epic PR Fail

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

  Call it a perfect storm… of scandal. As world leaders have gathered in Copenhagen to discuss global climate issues, the ill winds of “Climategate” are still blowing. Since hundreds of private emails between some of the world’s leading climate scientists were hacked and leaked online, skeptics have cried foul. Sarah Palin’s opinion piece in today’s…
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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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1
November 13, 2009

How Goldman Can Beat Its Bad PR

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

When news broke last week that bankers at Goldman Sachs had received the H1N1 vaccine amid shortages at doctors’ offices and hospitals, it was one more public relations headache for the firm. And there was a feverish reaction from the blogosphere and the mainstream press, including a hilarious Saturday Night Live sendup. As the bankers got their shots, everyone…
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3
October 26, 2009

Ready or Not, Here Comes SideWiki

by: in: advertising, Crenshaw Communications, marketing, public relations, reputation, social media

Lately I’ve been involved in discussions about companies who don’t want their brands to engage with consumers online. Most PR practitioners agree that there can be legitimate reasons for a business to avoid social media – be they regulatory issues, a narrow or niche positioning, or lack of preparedness. It’s a brand’s choice, after all. Until now, that…
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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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1
September 22, 2009

Marketing Isn't Getting Any Easier

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

It’s tough being a Chief Marketing Officer nowadays. It’s always been a high-risk role. Management tends to find it hard to gauge the bottom-line contribution, yet easy to place blame. In a recession, many businesses view marketing as a cost center, and it’s often the first budget to be cut. Then, too, everyone (and his spouse) thinks…
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0
September 10, 2009

Could Review Fraud Kill Consumer-Generated Media?

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

Trust is a rare commodity these days. Consumers are skeptical of traditional institutions – and traditional marketing. Which is why I was a bit surprised by the results of the latest Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey. Apparently, most of us place our trust in “friends we know and virtual strangers.”  Ninety percent of the 25,000 Internet…
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0
September 3, 2009

How To Buy Friends And Influence People

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

Maybe money can’t buy you love, but these days it can buy friends…at least, of a sort. I was interested in Web traffic company uSocial’s recent announcement that it will offer packages for Facebook that start at 1000 friends for as little as $177. Overnight, a faux network….who knew friends came so cheap? uSocial, which…
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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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0
August 17, 2009

The Humane Society Makes It Real

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

Since the news broke that Michael Vick would rejoin the NFL and work with The Humane Society on its anti-dogfighting campaign, speculation about his true state of mind has gone into overtime. Is he sincerely remorseful? Does he regret only that he was caught and suspended, or has he actually changed? It’s impossible to tell if Vick’s…
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