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Corporate Reputation

More #UberFail: Company Offers Credit to Sexually Harassed Passenger

uberUber is a conflicted company.

On one hand, its concept has met with resounding success and growth. People picking you up from wherever via app is cool, but the company seems to be testing how far it can push a “we don’t care” media relations strategy.

Emil Michael still has a job and the company still keeps scoring bad press.

This time it’s about how Uber handled sexual harassment allegations. Read more

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Daniel Graf’s Departure from Twitter May Cause Dark Cloud of PR for CEO

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Meet Daniel Graf.

The guy is kind of a big deal in the world tech. In this interview from Engadget last year, he was talking about his latest contribution to the Interweb and your phone — a little thing called Google Maps. In April, Daniel heard of this social media start up that was looking for a guy.

They call it Twitter.

From Google to Twitter, you would think he would happy at his gig. Yeah, he’s unemployed at the moment…by choice. What happened? Find out after the jump.

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5 Experts on Defending a Brand’s Reputation After a Data Breach

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Massive data breaches have become an expected holiday season event. This week, a BuzzFeed contributor listed the 10 biggest “hacks” of 2014 (eBay, the USPS, etc.), and the bad publicity stemming from these security failures can be especially damaging during the year’s biggest shopping period.

Retailers have different approaches in defending their reputations after these breaches. Target, for example, sent its CEO to CBS to call the trend “an industry issue” while its CMO displayed its social media “war room” on CNN. Home Depot blamed Microsoft Windows, and other retailers have pointed fingers at credit card companies themselves for failing on the security front.

The question, for retailers and the PR firms/internal teams telling their stories to the public is: what’s the most effective way to balance transparency regarding data security with the need to protect one’s reputation among a skeptical public?

Five industry veterans give us their takes after the jump.

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Home Depot Needs Reputation Cleanup in Aisle 1

Home-Depot-Security-BreachBREAKING NEWS (seriously): Home Depot’s image problems just got a lot worse. More than 53 million emails were stolen as a result of hackers purchasing credentials stolen from a third-party vendor, according to Krebs on Security.

Someone, somewhere at the great orange temple of home repair did something to piss off Anonymous. You may remember in September the massive data breach Home Depot experienced when ne’er-do-wells harvested information from 56 million credit and debit cards in the United States and Canada. And now this?!

Wait until you here more about where the hackers found this information…

(Image: omacomp.com)

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If Donald Trump Hates the Media, Why Is He Doing This?

trump_hairThere are many proud organizations that focus on the ethics of journalism (e.g., National Press Club, Society for Professional Journalists, local Press Clubs…like the one in Dallas/Fort Worth, my fare burg) and others designed to foster better relationships with those journalists (e.g., PRSA, IABC).

In those prestigious institutions, one might find a dart board bearing the universally mock-able face and hairdo of Mr. Donald J. Trump.

The Don’s journalistic interests usually range from suing a journalist for cockamamie reasons to blasting the general practice for doing the job it’s supposed to do (just not to his liking). Yes, he’s an avowed media troll. Yet some journalists will do anything for eyeballs and affection, which is why Trump is keynoting a First Amendment event later this month.

That makes sense (or is it cents?)…  Read more

Golden State Warriors’ Owner Goes Maybe-Racist, Blames Siri

NBA: Playoffs-Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors

Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Meet Peter Guber. (And yes, his name is pronounced the way you think…more on that in a moment.)

He is Chairman, CEO, and founder of Mandalay Entertainment, a motion picture company that has racked up more than $3 billion and 50 Academy Award nominations. Dude’s got skills.

Goober Guber is also the owner of the Golden State Warriors, and is now part of some unfortunate NBA owner company. He recently joined the ranks of Donald Sterling, formerly of the L.A. Clippers, and Bruce Levenson, formerly of the Atlanta Hawks, as a maybe-possibly racist.

But save the #PRFail; he blamed auto correct, so it’s all good.

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Ratings Error Chips Away At Nielsen’s Credibility

multiple screensNielsen has admitted that the broadcast network ratings it has been reporting for the past seven months are inaccurate, favoring ABC while having a negative impact on the others. Even though it looks like the discrepancy is a small one, the damage to the company’s reputation could be much greater.

According to the company, the error in viewing totals is between .1 percent and .25 percent. The degree to which this could impact the ratings outcomes for different shows is yet to be seen. For instance, TVNewser has long tracked the competition among news broadcasts. ABC had been celebrating a rise above NBC, the first in five years. A revision could take that away. In other cases, the numbers might change slightly, but the outcome — first, second or third — would remain the same. Overall, Deadline reports that many of the larger outcomes would be unchanged.

These small amendments can have an effect on big advertising dollars for the networks. Moreover, Nielsen has been fighting a battle over its ability to thoroughly track TV viewership at a time of great audience fragmentation. That this error was made and wasn’t caught for so long has got some in the industry very upset.

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VICE Discovers the Ethical Perils of Corporate Sponsorship

VICE-logo

Looks like the cool kids sometimes get tripped up on ethics, too.

According to reports posted earlier this week, VICE — the very organization that inspired Edelman to make a call to defend itself for working on sustainability projects while representing clients who deny climate change — has occasional brushes with conflict-of-interest problems.

A post on Gawker and one on Capital New York both demonstrate how VICE editors worked to squash stories that could have reflected badly on corporate sponsors and/or media partners.

This is really a classic PR/media condundrum.

SPOILER: It’s about the money.

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Foggy Windows: How Microsoft Forgot to Count to 10

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No company does a curtain raiser quite like Apple (horrible video streaming technology and forced rock star plug notwithstanding). Unfortunately, the company that knows this fact best is Microsoft.

As the number of Apple acolytes in this country swells up faster than Barry Bonds’ biceps, Microsoft floats in the raging ocean like chum waiting for sharks. We can only imagine the subject lines of its internal emails, though we assume that many include the letters W, T and F.

And then they got the epiphany that had been alluding them for decades: Windows 10!

What’s wrong with this lovely family portrait?

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The Future of Las Vegas No Longer Involves Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh

delivering-happinessYou may not know his name, but you certainly know his company.

Many big businesses and top entrepreneurs place Zappos and its CEO Tony Hsieh, pronounced Shay, on the Mount Rushmore of “Best Service-Minded Companies in the Country” (arguably occupying a space next to The Container Store, Southwest Airlines, Chick-Fil-A, and Trader Joe’s).

Aside from making every person feel extremely special, he is very passionate about building businesses. This is why he took on the “Downtown Project” in Las Vegas to become an entrepreneur incubator. The project was a $350 million attempt by Hsieh and others to transform 60 acres of Downtown Las Vegas into a growing tech city.

Admirable. If only it had worked.

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