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Posts by Matt Barkett

NBC gets the scoop – on itself

One of the key questions any organization has to ask itself when facing a high profile crisis that is about to go public is, “Do we proactively disclose it and get our side of the story out there first, or do we sit back and monitor the story arc to determine how we will respond?”

NBC answered this key question in the Matt Lauer scandal by going proactive, using its own “Today” platform to publicize its decisive action to fire Lauer without additional investigation after what an NBC spokesperson is claiming to be the first and only allegation of this kind against Lauer in more than 20 years of employment. Some are saying this action was a critical move to protect NBC’s reputation – but is that really what was at play here?

Just one day later, multiple news outlets…

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Want to communicate with the media better? Practice, practice, practice

Organizations that want to have effective communicators that can ably deal with the media in the course of normal business as well as in crisis situations should conduct communications training for selected executives annually. These training sessions should help create confidence in organizational spokespeople and induct the ability to deliver messages in all kinds of situations and to a wide variety of audiences. Additionally, it’ll help your spokespeople communicate better with employees as well.

Here are five components we suggest including in a media training session:

1. An overview on how the media operates.

Participants need to understand the types of people who work in the media, what they care about, how they view the world, and what their days are like,…

Continue Reading Want to communicate with the media better? Practice, practice, practice

And the Oscar goes to … the wrong film

PwC, the global accounting powerhouse that has been counting the Academy Award ballots since the 1930s, made a pretty big mistake when a company executive handed Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope at the end of the telecast Sunday night. But they atoned pretty darn well from that point forward, and quickly turned the page by simply taking responsibility and apologizing – something rare in this day and age.

When the story blew up on social, PwC acted quickly to apologize in the same venue. With 164,000 Twitter followers and a full night of live tweets from the Red Carpet already posted, PwC couldn’t hide. Instead, they promptly posted an apology and took responsibility. Many companies would have waited until all the facts were known, an understandable…

Continue Reading And the Oscar goes to … the wrong film

Preparing for the Trump Twitter storm

While Twitter itself may be saved by President Trump’s frequent use, some companies have growing concerns about how his Tweets could negatively impact their business. Preparing a contingency plan to help guide responses and actions following a Trump Twitter targeting is now a reality nearly every organization must face.

Here’s a few tips:

Face the reality. Think it won’t happen to you? Think again. It’s happened to individuals and companies of all sizes. It can have a significant impact, even across an entire industry: Airline stocks fell 29 percent after the Executive Order on immigration.

Ask some hard questions. In what situations would you take a stand against negative commentary targeting your company? How would you do it without making the situation…

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Turbulence ahead: Navigating the travel ban

Less than two weeks into the new administration, shockwaves are being created at the nation’s airports over last week’s executive order to ban travel into the U.S. by refugees or by citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The order targets three groups: refugees from any country, who are blocked from entering the United States for the next 120 days; refugees from Syria, who are barred indefinitely; and citizens from the aforementioned seven countries, who are precluded from entering the United States for at least 90 days.

Fallout from the order has been swift and widespread. Protests at airports across the country have erupted, some peaceful and others not so much. And no end to them appears to be in sight,…

Continue Reading Turbulence ahead: Navigating the travel ban