One thing that gets talked about a lot in the public relations business is crisis communications. You read articles like this one, perhaps you go to conferences or participate in webinars on the topic. You follow people on social media who give you a steady diet of crisis PR tips and tricks. But what is the current state of your crisis management readiness?… Read the rest
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.
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
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
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
Credit where credit’s due. One of the lasting lessons for me of my experience at the big agency I once worked for was a simple technique for gathering quick intelligence on the public’s attitude on an issue, a company, a brand or a product. It’s called the “Bar Stool Survey.”
As the name implies, it’s informal, impromptu and easy to do. … Read the rest
Pittsburgh is not unlike a lot of major cities in America in that it’s become a news media desert, which is not to say an information desert. The two would be different things.
While Pittsburghers, like most Americans, are drowning in a sea of digital information, their local news media landscape has become devoid of a strong news media industry.… Read the rest
There’s a term used in medicine called “the pertinent negative” that helps doctors and other medical professionals diagnose illnesses and identify problems. Essentially, it’s to look for what’s missing.
For example, a pertinent negative is when it appears someone has heart failure but they haven’t gained weight, a common symptom of heart failure. To a doctor that’s weird, and it’s a pertinent negative, because weight gain is missing from the symptom list.… Read the rest
Don’t think ‘plan.’ Think ‘process.’
I have some friends who avoid the stress of planning for their annual summer vacation by not planning for it. Yes, they take a vacation every year, and they always have a good time in a nice place. But they don’t plan for it, at least not in the way you may think.… Read the rest
One of the more common myths when it comes to crisis management is that problems are often conflated with crises. In other words, when a company or brand is faced with negative social media backlash, it’s broadly assumed that’s a crisis when in fact it’s not. It’s just a problem, a serious problem, perhaps, but still not a crisis.… Read the rest