Communication Matters - our blog on trends and events


Posts tagged “public relations”

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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5 questions to answer before committing to a company name change

A name change is a rare opportunity for many organizations. It’s one of those events that creates a spotlight, capturing the attention of all stakeholders and causing them to take a fresh look at the company. It’s also one of the few such events that can be managed proactively to have the desired impact.

At the same time, a corporate name change is a daunting event. No matter how well it’s managed, it’s expensive, takes a ton of time and is a major distraction – and the stakes are high for getting it right. It’s important to begin with well-informed expectations and a good process. And to answer some fundamental questions before committing:

  1. The main reasons to change a company’s name are to eliminate a problem or unlock value. What is the problem or opportunity…
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Welcome to the new Communication Matters

I’m happy and proud to welcome you to D&E’s new website and blog. The website not only describes our work, capabilities and staff but does so in a way we hope will give you a sense of the D&E DNA – who we are, how we work, our point of view and our character. We’ve used original art to capture some of the elements that define us: Creativity & Intellect, Strategy & Impact, Expertise & Insight, People & Passion. The site is optimized for tablet and mobile and was designed and developed by our talented creative team. 

Our new blog continues our tradition of providing fresh thinking, knowledge and insight about our profession and the issues that affect it.  Some of the entries will be broad in perspective; some will reflect a specific focus on building productive…

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Gulf disaster was a wake-up call only to BP. So, what do other companies worry about?

Almost a year after the event, I still get a lot of questions about the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. One of the most recent questions was whether this disaster was a “wake-up call” for chief executive officers as far as crisis preparation and management at their companies.

There were two disasters that confronted BP. One was the explosion that killed a number of people and which spilled countless tons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. One was the continual communications blundering. These disasters do serve as a warning to chief executive officers that anything can happen anywhere in the world at any time.

But I would argue that the Gulf of Mexico crisis is an anomaly. Few companies ever will face a crisis of that magnitude. So yes, chief executive…

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A New Website Strives to Bring PR and Media Together

During my 20 years in journalism, few things were as valuable as a reliable source. Someone with good news judgment, who understood the media and what they were looking for, and provided valuable information, particularly on deadline when chasing a story, was a source to be cultivated.

During my four years in public relations, I’ve learned that few things are as valuable as the ability to communicate well, to reflect good news judgment, to provide interesting and valuable information to journalists in a timely manner and above all, to be sensitive to their increasing deadline pressures.

The key is to make the initial connection, to develop the necessary relationships. In an article today, Claire Cain Miller of the New York Times calls these “professional…

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