For companies like Pepsi and United, these past few weeks have not been “friendly” after long hours trying to battle crises within their respective organizations.
Every time a crisis hits major corporations, such as these, public relations professionals are left scratching their heads wondering who is in charge and why the PR people “didn’t have a seat at the table?”…from the beginning.
PR professionals are oftentimes called in after the crisis hits versus having a seat at the table during the initial planning and strategizing phases.
It’s clear that in the case of Pepsi, the advertising firm created what they thought was a... ⇢ read more
As a child, my mom diligently worked with me to read books every week. From stories of emperors with no clothes to giants in the sky, one of my favorites was the story of “The Three Little Pigs.” To this day, I am not sure why that story resonated with me, although I am sure it had something to do with the fact my mom always made funny voices for the pigs and the wolf. The moral of the story rings true, especially in Oklahoma; better to work hard and be prepared than to be ill-prepared.
During the spring months, we... ⇢ read more
In times of controversy, Elton John was right. Sorry seems to be the hardest word. Look no further than Bill Clinton, Paula Deen and British Petroleum CEO Tony Hayward.
In what The Atlantic calls “one of the most famous apologies in modern American history,” President Bill Clinton sounded stony and defiant in August 1998 when, after seven months of denials, he delivered a televised speech admitting to a sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Paula Deen’s ill-fated 2013 apology tour for using a racial epithet resulted in the loss of sponsors such as The Food Network, QVC and Walmart, and ultimately, led to... ⇢ read more
There have been a few events/circumstances that occurred recently, which have prompted me to consider starting a new movement. Who's with me?
“What is it?” you are asking? Well, I would like to propose a new direction/focus to the practice of Public Relations and call it…Common Sense Communications. I think it might better explain what we do and how we personally approach the discipline as it relates to our clients and life in general.
A client called recently with a potential crisis at its facility, which was brought to their attention by a customer. Without providing all the important information to us,... ⇢ read more
By Felicia K. Knight, President The Knight Canney Group KnightCanney.com
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a winner! Three winners, actually. Yes, the Powerball has been won. To all you winners, your dreams have come true. But you are about to be thrust headlong into a public relations nightmare—unless you take steps to save yourselves.
None of you live in Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, or South Carolina, which means, by law, you must be identified as a winner. And that’s when the ticket hits the fan.
Once you’re photographed holding that big check, you will be amazed at the number of relatives,... ⇢ read more
Food safety problems can be a recipe for disaster in the restaurant industry. Just ask Chipotle Mexican Grill.
In the span of two months beginning in October, the company has dealt with an outbreak of E. coli infections that sickened 52 people in nine states and forced the company to temporarily close some locations along with reports earlier this month that up to 140 people fell ill from norovirus linked to a Chipotle restaurant in Boston.
The situation was summed up best by US News & World Report: “For a company founded on fresh ingredients and locally sourced food, it was a... ⇢ read more
Our future is coming together.
As a profession, public relations will redefine itself by casting off the label of “public relations.” Our future is in earning the mantle of strategic counselor and providing leaders with creative solutions to their problems. Clients don’t care what the marketing mix is—and neither should we.
The lines between digital, social media, advertising and public relations are more blurred (and unnecessary) than ever before. Most strategic communication efforts will not require every channel or discipline, but if we fail to consider each one, we run the risk of missed opportunities.
Coming together in this way creates a more... ⇢ read more
In the weeks following the Germanwings Flight 9525 crash, Lufthansa Group and its Chief Executive Carsten Spohr faced tremendous pressure as they crafted messaging for customers, employees, investors and the general public. PR practitioners (myself included) have closely observed the company’s response strategy unfold. One of the biggest twists came in late March, when Lufthansa said it knew of the pilot’s depression diagnosis, but did not prevent him from working.
The recent history of flight disasters underscores the critical need for airlines to deploy swift and decisive crisis communication, but not at the expense of accuracy.
My evaluation of Lufthansa’s crisis response aligns most... ⇢ read more
By Jennifer Evans
I live and work in Houston, Texas. Houston is known for many things, but the oil & gas industry remains a driving business here. Consequently, we see indicators of economic dips due to oil prices before other U.S. markets. While I don’t want to discourage anyone unduly, we are seeing some of those signs in the U.S. and in Texas right now. Public Relations practitioners – internal as well as agency leaders – should pay attention and prepare to help clients/employers adapt. After all, part of the job is therapy, right? Here are a few handy tips... ⇢ read more
By Barb Harris & Sharon Kreher, teamworks communication management
There’s always been an appropriate tension between what nonprofit agencies spend on their mission and what they spend on administration. And certainly, that’s a ratio one should consider in evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of a charity. But, the tendency to adhere too rigidly to the “spend as little as you can on admin” often backfires. As any for-profit business understands, sometimes you have to invest dollars in order to generate more funds. That means expenditures in facilities, staff, capacity, advertising, and yes, public relations. While nonprofits don’t think in terms of... ⇢ read more