Buckle Up: How to Respond to Cancel Culture Bullies

While the term, “cancel culture” is relatively new, the concept is not. Anyone who has spent any significant number of years in crisis communications or crisis management has had to deal with forces working to destroy, ruin and cancel their targets.

As a result, we’ve developed effective strategies, tactics and approaches to situations where you or your organization is under unfair attack.… Read the rest

The Crisis Management Novices Have Moved On

About a year ago, in the months after COVID-19 first arrived in America, the nation was in crisis. No organization or family or person was unaffected.

As a result, nearly every professional communicator faced challenges of their own.

To be sure, there’s a difference between being in crisis and being a crisis manager. It’s the same difference that exists between being the patient and being the doctor.… Read the rest

Issues Management: Mastering the Attack Defense

Sports Analogy Alert/Warning: In all the years I’ve written articles and blog posts, I’ve taken care to avoid the use of sports analogies because I know the majority of people in the PR profession can be turned off by them. That said, this is that rarest of exceptions where a sports analogy is the absolute best way to illustrate the strategy that is our focus here.Read the rest

Civility: One Person’s Honest Opinion is Another Person’s “Disinformation”…and the Story of How Galileo Got Cancelled

One of the hot new terms you may see bandied about in 2021 is “disinformation.”

Its users see it as a label for calling out deceptive speech, oftentimes to discredit and sometimes to censor that speech. Critics see the increasing use of the term as a propagandist strategy used to marginalize anyone who might dissent from a general narrative.… Read the rest

Apologies: Cancel Culture Does Not Forgive

There is a common assumption, particularly in public relations circles, that there is such a thing as a good apology. And by “good apology” they mean one that works on several levels. It is genuine. It satisfies the anger of your critics. It mends fences and brings a return of unity. Or, at the very least, it causes your critics to back off.… Read the rest

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

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

The Poynter Institute’s Bad Week

Billionaire investor Warren Buffet is credited with saying, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

The Poynter Institute may have been reminded of these words of wisdom last week when it published its list of 515 news sites that it considered “unreliable,” effectively blacklisting sites long considered legitimate (albeit conservative) media.… 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