Is Now the Time for a Pandemic Impact Assessment?

The pandemic has changed things. States are reopening, businesses have already begun the process of returning to operation. It’s time to regroup and identify the challenges that lie ahead from a communications standpoint. There are questions:

  • How do our stakeholders feel right now? What are their plans? What’s their comfort level doing the things for which they rely on us?
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Bankruptcy Communications: One Question, 31 Answers

If the entire country opened up for business tomorrow without any restrictions, the residual effects of the shutdown on local economies throughout the nation would last for months to come as no small number of businesses come to terms with the fact that this hole is far too big for them to dig out of simply by opening their doors again.… Read the rest

The Missing Ingredient in Most Media Training Today

Let’s Change the Recipe

Over the years, I’ve done my share of media training, and in the course of that, I’ve gotten very familiar with how other media trainers operate and what we all have collectively accepted as conventional wisdom when it comes to media training.

For instance, find one media trainer who does not teach you to speak in sound bites, and I’ll … well … I don’t know what I’ll do, but whatever it is it will be unlikely, because media trainers teach you to speak in sound bites.… Read the rest

COVID-19: What You Can Do to Reduce Fear and Panic Right Now

I’ve done crisis management for over 34 years and have been stymied the past two weeks at the large number of supposed leaders, experts and communications professionals who seem to see it as their job to gin up panic. There’s no other way to say it.

To be clear, the enemy of any effective crisis management approach is panic.Read the rest

Don’t be a “Holiday Inn Expert”

Surely, you’ve seen that series of Holiday Inn Express TV commercials. There is the one where a would-be surgeon is called out by a colleague in the operating room just after surgery.

“You’re not Dr. Stewart,” another doctor says to him after he removes his surgical mask. To which he responds matter-of-factly, “No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”… Read the rest

Major League Baseball and the Fine Art of Selling Hope

 

The grass on baseball fields in Florida and Arizona is getting lush right now, ready for the annual rite that is Major League Baseball spring training and those sunny exhibition games. You don’t have to be a baseball fan to see the appeal of getting a taste of the warmer months ahead, if only by clicking on an online video for a few seconds or catching a game on television.… Read the rest

Ricky Gervais Dishes Cold PR Advice at the Golden Globes

On Sunday, January 5th, comedian Ricky Gervais got the New Year off to a hot start in Hollywood by using his platform as host of the Golden Globe Awards to roast the Hollywood celebrities sitting in front of him.

That he would make some people uncomfortable was to be expected. In all of the pre-event media coverage, the award show’s publicists actually hyped the event by showcasing Ricky Gervais’s unpredictable and irreverent nature.… Read the rest

Senior Level Counsel: Arm Yourself with the Right Questions, Not Just Answers

One of the biggest mistakes I ever made in the business of communications happened to me when I was a young account executive at a global PR firm. My client was the CEO of a logistics company. To describe him as tough-as-nails would be an understatement.

He’d taken on investor groups, regulators, unions and competitors with a bare-knuckle approach to business.… Read the rest