Sometimes bad publicity IS worse than no publicity at all


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One of the more satisfying aspects of the multidimensional profession otherwise known as public relations is media training. It’s one of the few times when we exchange the seat of power with senior client executives and tell them what to do (or, shall I say, gently suggest what to do?). Media training is equal parts art and science and when practiced to perfection will end up with key client quotes and messages finding their way into articles and highlighted on cable interviews or, in rare cases, actually used as the headline by a leading business publication. Sometimes, though, the best laid plans of mice and men (and media training) can go awry. Case in point: The end results of the obviously botched media training of Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei by the fine folks at Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW). As you’ll read in Clay Chandler’s column, BCW (which just
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How would YOU motivate Boeing’s battered, bloodied and bewildered workforce?


This post is by Steve Cody from Rep Man


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Following the introduction of a Next-Gen Airbus in 2010, Boeing reportedly rushed production of the 737 Max 8, a more powerful and fuel-efficient upgrade of the existing 737, without providing ANY flight simulation training to unaware pilots soon to be situated in the cockpits of the new plane. Boeing, if the implications are borne out, knowingly sent unsuspecting pilots, flight crews and passengers to their deaths. In fact, according to this New York Times piece, flight training on the 737 Max 8 won’t even be available until 2020 at the earliest (assuming the plane is eventually cleared to fly again). While it’s obvious why the world’s press is fixating on what Boeing knew and when they knew it, I couldn’t help but think what it must it be like to be one of the Boeing rank-and-file who, until the two recent air disasters, felt justifiably proud of their corporation’s
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McKinsey embraces transparency (sort of)


This post is by Steve Cody from Rep Man


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You know the business world is changing when a highly secretive firm like McKinsey opens the kimono and actually addresses the myriad scandals that have befallen the firm in the past year. As you’ll read in this Fortune column as well as a more in-depth Q-and-A that’s embedded in the piece, McKinsey’s top partner, Kevin Sneader, has ushered in a new era of authenticity and responsibility by sending a letter to employees acknowledging “mistakes” and “learning from those mistakes.” We shall see if either promise becomes reality. I’ve blogged about McKinsey’s high-profile missteps in South Africa, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. Each also received massive coverage in the New York Times. But in each Times article, one needed a magnifying glass to find the briefest of statements from a McKinsey spokesperson that either admitted wrongdoing or spoke to how the firm would avoid committing such transgressions in the future. If
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It’s a close shave


This post is by Steve Cody from Rep Man


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No matter how one analyzes Gillette’s controversial new campaign “Is this the best a man can get?” it’s fraught with uncertainties. And it most certainly has further divided an already divided country.

Truly the best a man can get?

First, though, a tip of the hat (or razor) to Gillette’s management for having the courage to double down on its purpose and values. But have they? Or is the campaign a mere ploy or stunt as some detractors claim whose only goal is to drive sales? I think there are several factors to weigh when analyzing the Gillette campaign: 1) Is alienating a significant percentage of the male shaving market worth the risk of taking a stand and saying the right thing? We asked that very question of 50 CCOs and CMOs we interviewed in a joint research study with the Institute for Public Relations. One CCO, who managed
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The PDC turns its back on fans to appease its enemies


This post is by from 21st-century PR issues › Paul Seaman


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Following the ‘scandal’ over the groping of girls at the Presidents Club’s reportedly debauched charity gala at the Dorchester Hotel in London, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) has axed its leggy showgirls in order to appease the PC brigade that hates darts, with or without its girly sex appeal. In other words, darts fans have been betrayed. For the last twenty years, predominantly middle-aged working-class white men in T-shirts, wearing jeans with tight belts that showcase protruding beer bellies, have played each other at the oche at PDC tournaments. They have competed in front of thousands of often legless fans dressed as sheiks or in other forms of culturally appropriated dress. The sex appeal was supplied by undeniably gorgeous girls dressed in thrilling outfits one-size too small to retain any sense of modesty. As for the supposedly vulnerable, abused and objectified women themselves, married mother-of-one Daniella Allfree, 30, from Chesterfield,
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Lessons from Paperchase’s retreat: corporate cowardice predates social media


This post is by from 21st-century PR issues › Paul Seaman


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A few thousand tabloid-loathing Stop Funding Hate campaigners, exercising their wrist action on Twitter and Facebook, have persuaded Paperchase to abandon an advertising promotion, which offered readers of The Daily Mail two free sheets of Christmas wrapping paper. What should the advertising and PR community make of this debacle? How do we explain the fact that readers of The Daily Mail, circulation 1.4 million, The Daily Express, 400,000, and the The Sun, 1.5 million, were effectively told that they were not morally fit to shop at or get freebies from Paperchase? How did Stop Funding Hate, which opposes mainstream advertising in mainstream newspapers read by the mass public, convince a major corporation that those organs and their readers were hate-speakers? Our industry must assess coolly how it ever struck Paperchase as a good idea to say to a small audience on Twitter: “We’ve listened
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Lessons from Paperchase’s retreat: corporate cowardice predates social media


This post is by from 21st-century PR issues › Paul Seaman


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A few thousand tabloid-loathing ‘Stop Funding Hate‘ campaigners exercising their wrist action on Twitter and Facebook have persuaded Paperchase to abandon an advertising promotion, which offered readers of The Daily Mail two free sheets of Christmas wrapping paper. What should the advertising and PR community make of this debacle? How do we explain the fact that readers of The Daily Mail, circulation 1.4 million, The Daily Express, 400,000, and the The Sun, 1.5 million, were effectively told that they were not morally fit to shop at or get freebies from Paperchase? How did Stop Funding Hate, which opposes mainstream advertising in mainstream newspapers read by the mass public, convince a major corporation that those organs and their readers were hate-speakers? Our industry must assess coolly how it ever struck Paperchase as a good idea to say to a small audience on Twitter:
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Opinion piece on the demise of Bell Pottinger


This post is by from 21st-century PR issues › Paul Seaman


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As Bell Pottinger prepares to put itself into administration, resulting in hundreds of job losses, following its expulsion from the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), here’s an opinion piece, which calls out the PRCA’s humbug.

PRCA betrayed the PR trade by witch hunting Bell Pottinger

The PRCA has willfully destroyed a great British PR brand, and then boasted about it in the public domain. Shame on them. Bell Pottinger (BP) was working for the controversial Gupta family as a cover for working for Zuma and the ANC. BP’s work for the Guptas was, it seems, done in the dark by anonymous agents in social media. Sometimes, those agents were fake. Moreover on behalf of the Guptas, BP launched attacks in SA on people and firms who were existing clients of BP. Promulgating PR messages in the dark for clients who are proxies for political parties or corrupt individuals and Continue reading "Opinion piece on the demise of Bell Pottinger"

Bell Pottinger South Africa, a reality check


This post is by from 21st-century PR issues › Paul Seaman


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What unites all the major political parties in South Africa: the African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)? The answer is their determination to divide the country along pre-existing racial fault lines. Yet the DA, South Africa’s main opposition party, has had the audacity to lodge a misconduct claim against Bell Pottinger (BP) with the UK’s Public Relations Consultants Association, accusing it, among other things, of “sow[ing] racial mistrust, hate and race-baiting, and [encouraging a] divided society”.  So, in essence, BP is being accused by the DA of packaging DA-style politics for a rival stakeholder in South Africa; namely Oakbay Resources and Energy, owned by the controversial Gupta family, close associates of President Jacob Zuma. Yet such has been the howl of protest in the Western and South African media that Bell Pottinger has issued an Continue reading "Bell Pottinger South Africa, a reality check"

Maximising resilience of health and well-being assets in crisis situations


This post is by Heather_Yaxley from PR Conversations


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A comment left by New Zealand PR consultant, Catherine Arrow, on a recent post on my personal Greenbanana blog indicated that the topic (the language of grief and a biopsychosocial perspective on mental health issues) was worthy of further investigation. The following is the result of our subsequent shared musings concerning the impact of crisis situations on the health and well-being of public relations practitioners. If you have any thoughts on this topic, we invite you to continue our conversation in the comments. Heather:  Catherine, you mentioned that communicators working to help others during and after natural disasters in recent years in New Zealand may be suffering the same effects as the people they are trying to assist, yet have to suppress their emotions, seemingly indefinitely, in order to get the job done. How do you feel that practitioners, employers, professional bodies and academics can address this concern? Catherine: We
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Maximising resilience of health and well-being assets in crisis situations


This post is by Heather_Yaxley from PR Conversations


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A comment left by New Zealand PR consultant, Catherine Arrow, on a recent post on my personal Greenbanana blog indicated that the topic (the language of grief and a biopsychosocial perspective on mental health issues) was worthy of further investigation. The following is the result of our subsequent shared musings concerning the impact of crisis situations on the health and well-being of public relations practitioners. If you have any thoughts on this topic, we invite you to continue our conversation in the comments. Heather Yaxley:  Catherine, you mentioned that communicators working to help others during and after natural disasters in recent years in New Zealand may be suffering the same effects as the people they are trying to assist, yet have to suppress their emotions, seemingly indefinitely, in order to get the job done. How do you feel that practitioners, employers, professional bodies and academics can address this concern? Catherine
Continue reading "Maximising resilience of health and well-being assets in crisis situations"

Maximising resilience of health and well-being assets in crisis situations


This post is by Heather_Yaxley from PR Conversations


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A comment left by New Zealand PR consultant, Catherine Arrow, on a recent post on my personal Greenbanana blog indicated that the topic (the language of grief and a biopsychosocial perspective on mental health issues) was worthy of further investigation. The following is the result of our subsequent shared musings concerning the impact of crisis situations on the health and well-being of public relations practitioners. If you have any thoughts on this topic, we invite you to continue our conversation in the comments. Heather Yaxley:  Catherine, you mentioned that communicators working to help others during and after natural disasters in recent years in New Zealand may be suffering the same effects as the people they are trying to assist, yet have to suppress their emotions, seemingly indefinitely, in order to get the job done. How do you feel that practitioners, employers, professional bodies and academics can address this concern? Catherine
Continue reading "Maximising resilience of health and well-being assets in crisis situations"

Reputation Tidbits


This post is by Leslie Gaines-Ross from ReputationXchange


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Gosh, it’s been a while since I posted. It’s been a nonstop quarter and I feel like I can breathe this weekend. So I thought I’d mention a few things that have been on my radar reputation-wise. First, Harris Poll RQ released their 2017 corporate reputation study that included some interesting metrics. First, they find that crisis in one company does not necessarily infect other companies in the same industry. Thus, a company that has lost reputational standing in the financial services industry does not necessarily transfer its problems to other industry peers. That’s good news. The Harris Poll analysts also revealed that some companies are more liked (have higher RQs) by Republicans than Democrats. The polarization that exists today carries itself into reputational favorability among the public. This is notable because more CEOs are making their positions known on hot-button societal issues. So it makes sense for CEOs to
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CEO activism plusses and minuses


This post is by Leslie Gaines-Ross from ReputationXchange


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Here are three recent pieces reflecting on CEO activism since the president’s executive order on immigration. One I wrote for HBR and the other two are full of compelling arguments about whether CEOs should speak up or not, should be on the president’s advisory council or not. And ultimately, the cost of CEOs remaining silent or neutral. I can safely predict that this new surge in CEO activism will continue. HBR: https://hbr.org/2017/02/what-ceos-should-know-about-speaking-up-on-political-issues Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-leadership/wp/2017/02/17/the-cost-of-silence-why-more-ceos-are-speaking-out-in-the-trump-era/?utm_term=.cd3c87afba11&wpisrc=nl_heads-draw6&wpmm=1 New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/16/business/trump-ceo-invitations.html?_r=0 The post CEO activism plusses and minuses appeared first on ReputationXchange.

CEO Bad Behavior


This post is by Leslie Gaines-Ross from ReputationXchange


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I have been derelict with my blog so the guilt is driving me to spend some time today to post about a fascinating research analysis of when CEOs engage in questionable behavior and how the board responds to these reputation-damaging missteps. In an article by professors David Larcker and Brian Tayan at Stanford Graduate School of Business, entitled “Scoundrels in the C-Suite,” a nice provocative title, they question what happens to CEO who misbehave. And for a very good reason which is that misbehavior at the top influences behavior below and spreads exponentially. Time and time again, we hear about CEOs creating a tone at the top that impacts how the organization and allowed misconduct to be condoned. Since the authors realize that you can only measure what you can see, they looked at media reports of CEO misbehavior to determine how the board reacted and what type of retribution was doled out to the offender. Thus, Larcker Continue reading "CEO Bad Behavior"

Reputational Threats


This post is by Leslie Gaines-Ross from ReputationXchange


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I came across this interesting chart in a report by the Harris Poll 2016 about which potential scenarios are most damaging to reputation, according to the American public. The results make clear that the greatest threat to corporate reputation is being dishonest, unethical and hiding the truth. Lack of disclosure is a reputation-killer. A full 80% of respondents indicate that not telling the whole truth about products/services and intentionally lying on the part of leadership will lead to severe reputation harm. Third on the list of reputation-busters is data breaches which at this point is almost an everyday affair. This finding underscores how important privacy is to Americans and how much citizens expect companies today to be prepared for the inevitable or pay the price. I was surprised that hearing bad financial news was not higher on the list but clearly we are all immune to hearing that financial performance is not what was expected.
Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 11.24.45 AM
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Courageous CEO


This post is by Leslie Gaines-Ross from ReputationXchange


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Saw this post from Shannon Stubo Brayton at LinkedIn. She is their CMO/CCO. She shared what the LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, did after losing more than 40% of the company’s value after announcing 2015 earnings and guidance for 2016 a few weeks ago. In her post, Shannon said that you get a real bird’s eye view on the character of an organization’s CEO and others top management when a company hits a wall like this. It is true that crises can be very revealing into the soul of leadership, especially when facing employees who are worried about their jobs, the reputation of their companies and their futures. Uncertainty is no fun. I was delighted to have a peek into what Weiner said to employees and grateful that a clip of his talk at an all hands on meeting was made available. You should take Continue reading "Courageous CEO"

On my reputation mind…


This post is by Leslie Gaines-Ross from ReputationXchange


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A few notes from my week…
  • I got a kick out of Fortune’s Geoff Colvin’s Power Sheet this week which I read religiously. He said that despite all the weighty topics at the Fortune Global Forum on disruption and the digital revolution, all the CEOs kept coming back to culture. I think that more than ever, having the right place to work with the right values and the right people is at the heart of the best companies. I never forgot a quote from an individual many years ago after a Royal Dutch Shell incident who said that culture was the heartbeat of an organization. I always liked that.
  • The Guardian had an interesting roundup on the value of reputation. Listen up. Two days after the VW emissions scandal became public, the automotive company lost nearly $28 billion in market value. I guess you can say that’s the downside of a damaged reputation.
  • At  Continue reading "On my reputation mind…"

From classroom to boardroom – crisis management lessons from the auto industry


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aaron-shardeyAaron Shardey gained a first class honours degree in public relations at London College of Communications this Summer with his undergraduate dissertation offering case study research into crisis management in the automotive industry. Given the topicality of the VW crisis, PR Conversations asked Aaron about his research and the lessons he would take from the classroom to the boardroom: One of the things you quickly realise when you study crisis management is that there are numerous examples in the literature that are held up as either good or bad practice. More recent ones show the effect of technological innovations, (including emergence of social media), that have increased the global reach and potential magnitude of many crisis situations. Examples include the 2007 US subprime mortgage issue which rapidly escalated into a global financial crisis; images from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico that were broadcast live through
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