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

Why You Don’t See More People in PR Using Wheelchairs

If you and I were to meet in person, you’d have a good idea where I’m coming from on this topic, but if you were to read just about everything I’ve ever written, or if we only know each other remotely, this may come as a surprise to you. I have a disability.

Its onset happened gradually in my 40s and then it stopped.… Read the rest

Advertiser Boycotts: Does Your Team Have an Experienced Crisis Manager on It?

If you haven’t noticed by now, there’s an advertiser boycott template and it goes like this. Activists select a television show, a radio program, a network, or a show host to boycott, and then they wait for something they can use as a justification for the boycott they have planned all along.

The goal is to get the show cancelled, the host fired and an opposition voice silenced.… Read the rest

Thinking About Using Science to Make Your Point? Think Again

You may be familiar with these quotes about statistics. It was Mark Twain who said, “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.”

And even if you don’t know Benjamin Disraeli, you may have heard his comment that, “There are three types of lies – lies, damn lies and statistics.”

If Mark Twain and Benjamin Disraeli were around today, they’d probably be quite interested in reading the 2019 State of Science Index from 3M and may consider including “science” in their comments.… Read the rest

Why Boeing Should Hold Off on Apologizing

It’s been a few weeks now, and I’ve seen the usual pattern among some PR consultants in various media taking Boeing to task.

I’ll get to the predictable PR narrative in a second, but if you need an update on the situation, there have been two plane crashes in the past five months that have been blamed for missing certain safety technologies on the Boeing 737 Max, a successor to the highly common Boeing 737 aircraft.… Read the rest