Inconsistency is the Death of Credibility

double standads

One of the mistakes people make when they point out someone else’s hypocrisy is that they assume that everyone understands that the inherent inconsistency undermines the credibility of the hypocrite.

Years ago, that may have been more practical but not today.

One of the more glaring examples of this is when a group of students who don’t like a visiting guest speaker, so they decide to shout down that speaker when he comes to campus.… Read the rest

Crisis Communications: How to Spot a Crisis Before It Happens

Crisis Management

You can’t predict the future, and with that in mind, you can’t predict every crisis before it may happen. But one of the things I’ve built into crisis planning over the years is an early-warning process for anticipating and identifying potential crises.

There’s no magic to it. Mostly, it’s a matter of constant vigilance and discipline in monitoring your own intelligence channels.… Read the rest

We’re Launching a Police Recruitment Marketing System to Help Police Departments Meet the Staffing Crisis

police recruitment

It’s hardly a secret that police departments at all levels are having trouble recruiting and retaining qualified and talented individuals.

Stellar police officers are opting to retire or just quit, frustrated over lack of resources or support they need to carry out their high-risk duties. Increasingly, good officers don’t want to chance doing what they’ve been trained to do, as they’ve been trained to do it, only to find themselves in the line of fire, literally and figuratively.… Read the rest

Communications Audits: Don’t Hire a PR Consultant to Tell You Only What You Want to Hear

communications audit

A while back, a client hired me to conduct a PR and brand audit of the organization. The process involved establishing a set of questions to be used in interviews with a cross-section of key stakeholders. This sort of research always serves to tell an organization how it’s perceived among those most important to it, how they process information, where they get it and more.… Read the rest

Media Relations: How Not to Screw Up a Podcast Interview

podcast mic

Over the past four years, I’ve conducted over 225 interviews for my podcast called Shaping Opinion, and prior that, I’ve spent decades handling media relations, conducting media coaching and training and working with clients on the full range of public relations activities. After all of that, I can honestly say, the public relations profession is dropping the ball on podcast interviewing.… Read the rest

Media Relations: Nothing is Off the Record

off the record PR

I can’t say I’m surprised PR people still think some things can be off the record when talking to reporters. Still, the whole issue of “off the record” is a mine field. Any PR person who continues to think there is such a thing as an off-the-record comment to reporter is simply lucky enough to have not stepped on that landmine … yet.… Read the rest

Gen X: Challenging the PR Field’s Sacred Cows

sacred cows in PR

The term, “sacred cow” is a common metaphor to mean something that is “often unreasonably immune from criticism or opposition.” Its origins in everyday English usage can be traced back to the early 20th Century, when linguists observed how the Hindus venerated the cow.

The PR field has its share of sacred cows, which are theories, practices and concepts that until now have been unchallengeable.… Read the rest

Crisis Communications: Preparing for “What’s Next?”

crisis planning - what's next

Once a crisis starts, the question that’s top-of-mind throughout is, “What’s next?” Sometimes, the answer is obvious, but oftentimes it’s anyone’s guess. In every case, however, the answer is the most critical piece of data you need.

By this point, you know what’s happened. You may have a good idea of how it happened and why it happened.… Read the rest