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Posts tagged “Crisis Communications”

Policing the police

The world of law enforcement has gotten a lot of scrutiny following the shooting death of Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson, MO. Injustice was perceived, riots ensued, and the news media chose to present it all like footage from a Middle East war zone, not Middle America. It’s not even fair to say that the jury is still out on that matter because the jury hasn’t even been convened yet. But it’s fair to say that the actions of police, particularly when racial relations are overlaid, are already being questioned by the usual lot – activists, media and politicians – and this time, most of America is taking notice.

Clearly, the actions of the Ferguson police department following the teen’s shooting death didn’t help matters. Delaying the…

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Cleaning up with the Kardashians

As more companies, organizations and even government offices get into the social media act, we were given another reminder this week of why it’s important to have some safeguards in place to ensure your communications on social media are being handled thoughtfully and responsibly.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water learned this lesson the hard way when an intern posted a Tweet promoting the new “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” app where people can join Kardashian on their own Hollywood red carpet “adventure.” Perhaps the intern meant to use his or her personal Twitter account rather than the agency’s account, as it’s easy to forget to toggle back and forth. In any event, while the Tweet was taken down after about three hours, the buzz was already off…

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Take the Crisis Stress Test: Are You Prepared?

Would your company’s reputation survive a major product failure or recall? A serious social media blunder? Major litigation? The death of an employee or customer?

A company’s ability to bounce back after a crisis often comes down to one key factor: how well it prepared before the crisis. Unfortunately, we see companies – too many companies – wait until after a cataclysmic event strikes to create a crisis communications manual, train top executives for speaking with media or set up a “dark” website.

Crisis preparedness is not necessarily a pleasant task, and it’s easy to put off for another day when there’s no looming crisis on the horizon. But, despite the reluctance or procrastination of some organizations, investing in crisis preparedness remains a critical…

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A new fare class – wheel well seating

The stunning tale of a 16-year old boy who managed to sneak onto a busy airport field, climb into a wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767 bound for Maui and, against all odds, survive the five-and-a-half-hour flight made me simply shake my head in wonder. So many things had to go right for him to survive, and so many things had to go wrong for him to even get into the plane in the first place.

Airport security is an understandably high priority in the terrorist age we live in. So how could this kid get onto the field and into the wheel well at an active airport? You can bet the Federal Aviation Administration and the FBI are asking the folks in charge of security at San Jose's Mineta International Airport that very question. It’s also a question airports…

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The worst kind of crisis – Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

As a crisis PR guy, I’m often asked to define the worst kind of crisis or to recall the worst one I’ve ever seen. My response typically is that crises come in all sizes and have wide disparity in their impact. Big explosions, massive chemical spills, transportation accidents leaving many dead, well, those are pretty obvious. But at the same time, a stolen laptop can be a big deal too, depending on what’s on it and who has it now.

Inevitably, though, my answer is that crises that come with a vigil are the worst. A crisis where people are missing and possibly dead and no answers are immediately apparent  – those are the hardest for everyone involved, including the company officials most directly responsible for the operation where the crisis occurred.

We have worked…

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