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Posts tagged “Media Relations”

#RaceTogether didn’t quite come together

Whatever you thought of Starbucks Corporation’s #RaceTogether campaign, most of us would agree that the concept behind it was admirable – to improve race relations in the United States by encouraging dialogue.

After the Rodney King riots, the Akron Beacon Journal won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, in part, by encouraging dialogue between the races. I was fortunate enough to play a role in that effort.

So I was disappointed when the Starbucks campaign was derailed within hours of launch, largely because of a flawed appreciation for how the campaign would play in the media.

When Starbucks launched #RaceTogether, it did a lot of things quite well. Its website featured a well-written message titled “What ‘Race Together’ Means for Starbucks Partners and…

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What do Tim Cook and LeBron James have in common?

Let’s say you’re a CEO and you wish to promote your company, your personal brand or, more altruistically, a cause. What do you do?

In years past, communicators would advise a number of options. One traditional approach: make a donation, issue a media release and call a press conference. Then ask your communication professionals to follow up with calls to reporters to attract further attention. If you were lucky, controversial or both, you got media coverage.

But that communications strategy is so “yesterday.” Today, you have more options. Write a blog post. Record and post a video. Or you can take the path Apple CEO Tim Cook and LeBron James both recently traversed with great skill to accomplish their objectives. First, leverage media relationships to write and…

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Media are covering the shale oil and gas industry, but is the industry talking to the media?

You could spend a good number of hours out of your day tracking coverage of the oil and gas industry. Trade media, bloggers, local, national and international media are examining the industry from any number of angles. More often than not, the industry’s viewpoint is not being communicated with the same energy, and the results are damaging the industry’s public perception.

It is difficult to digest all the media scrutiny. If you want a good daily roundup, check out the news aggregator, Realclearenergy.org.

But what is abundantly clear is that the coverage is commensurate with the impact the industry is having, from shifts in the global economy down to the tiniest of tremors registered in a small Ohio town. Coverage often reflects public concern, government…

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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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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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