Communication Matters - our blog on trends and events

RSS

Posts by Matt Barkett

Take the long way home

By now, we are all accustomed to hearing ridiculous stories about bad customer service from airlines, ranging from problems transporting animals to even more jaw-dropping incidents such as the passenger who was forcibly removed from United flight 3411, which are subsequently shared on social media around the world. It seems like each day there’s a new and more egregious story, and the latest example of airline brilliance comes to us from Sun Country Airlines.

The airline faced a difficult decision created by late-season snow in Minneapolis, which forced the airline to cancel the last of its seasonal flights to Mexico as it switches its schedule to accommodate passengers for other destinations. The only problem was that there were still passengers waiting for…

Continue Reading Take the long way home

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…

Continue Reading NBC gets the scoop – on itself

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…

Continue Reading Preparing for the Trump Twitter storm