Posts tagged “Crisis Communications”

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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When Strategy Becomes Habit, Change Your Strategy

I recently started reading “Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg while on a business trip to New York.

It is not my habit to read any book cover to cover – I confess to usually reading two or three at a time – but have had a hard time putting this one down.

What really caught me up was one premise by Duhigg, a science writer for The New York Times, that not only are we creatures of habit but that we do not even realize those habits when they are in play. That is, habits are automatic responses, like an email bounce-back that someone is out of the office.

Duhigg devotes more of the book to how to change habits – once you are aware of them – and I am working my way through that part of the book and through some number of new…

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Just-in-case emergency response planning

Major natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy often prompt business owners and operations professionals to create or update their crisis management plan and corresponding communications plan – just in case they need it when the next big disaster strikes.

But I wonder how many of them make preparations for a smaller scale “disaster” that could last days, weeks or seemingly an entire season.

It’s no surprise that many cities are calling this winter the worst in decades, and the National Weather Service and Federal Reserve are quick to back up that claim. The Federal Reserve reported today that a historically cold and snowy winter is to blame for its less than sunny industrial production report, which saw significant drops in both industrial production and…

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What B2B companies can learn from “The Biggest Loser” brand blunder

Building a respected brand is hard. Keeping it is even harder. NBC is learning that lesson the hard way. This week, as it has done for several seasons, it aired a live broadcast of the season finale of its popular weight-loss competition show, The Biggest Loser. But this time was different. This season’s winner lost a staggering 60% of her body weight, going from 260 pounds to 105 pounds. Past winners have been celebrated for their achievements. This winner is being accused of going too far. And it’s the Biggest Loser brand that may come out as… well… the biggest loser.

I won’t get too mired in the controversy around the finale, but I do think it’s worth considering what B2B brands can learn from this debate. Whose hands are your company’s brand in?

Here are a few…

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Hacking mom and pop – it’s not just Target that’s at risk

The continuing mess with Target over last year’s data theft involving card swipe terminals has made me think twice when swiping my credit card just about anywhere. But what choice is there? We have become a nearly cashless society. I’ve even heard people having competitions about who can go the longest without ever visiting an ATM. So we just swipe away, holding our collective breath and hoping that nobody is lurking to steal our identity or drain our bank account.

To be sure, the issues at Target have heightened awareness of the problem among major retailers and banks, all of which seem to be scrambling to buttress their security and demonstrate to customers how safe their networks are. But what about small businesses? Aren’t they just as likely to be hacked? Or…

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