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Corporate Reputation

STUDY: Your Employees Probably Don’t Like You

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Don’t take it too personally, though: you’re definitely not the only one.

CreativeLive’s inaugural jobs report should probably serve as a wake-up call to your corporate clients. The basic conclusion: Americans aren’t happy at their jobs, and they don’t much care for their employers. The reason? They want to be more creative.

Some key numbers after the jump.

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More #McFail: Managers Admit to Stealing Employee’s Money

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They’re baaaaaaaaaack! 

Unfortunately for the Clown, McDonald’s just can’t stay out of the #PRFail spotlight.

When we last left this saga, McDonald’s was accused of kicking some old couple out on their keisters – canes, walkers, and all — for sitting too long. And as shameful as that was, there’s also the open case of slave labor under the veiled threat of deportation because that’s good for team morale.

Next up in the Clown’s PR issues, we have a story of former managers admitting they stole money from their miserly paid employees. This should be good.  Read more

Chevron Can Make Its Own Local News

One Donald Draper famously quipped, “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”

In this week’s case study in heavy-handed message management, Chevron took that one to heart. In fact, it created an entirely new conversation on its own terms.

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The company, which has operated a refinery in Richmond, California for over 100 years, created the Richmond Standard site to present its public with under-reported news stories like this video of high schoolers lifting weights and this more popular entry about an effort to prevent prostitutes from walking through a residential neighborhood on the way to work.

The writers are experienced journalists, but–shocker–there may be a bit of self-interest at play here.

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What Can ‘Brown’ Do For You? Hand Out 250 Pink Slips for Free Speech.

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This guy was in a coma after being hit by a car on the job. He is now about to be fired.

It’s not like UPS needed another #PRFail moment after the not-so-Yuletide fun it had over the holidays, but here we are — UPS, its employees, and a colossal public faux-pas. According to the New York Daily NewsUPS just fired 250 of its unionized employees in Queens, N.Y. because of free speech.

These workers walked off the job (granted, bad form) to protest the dismissal of one of their buddies. On Monday, 20 employees were terminated after their shifts — “and the remaining 230 notified that they’ll be canned as soon as replacements are trained,” a company spokesman said.

“They just called me in … (and) said, ‘Effective immediately, you are no longer on the payroll,’” said Steve Curcio, 41, a 20-year employee earning $32 an hour.

And it gets even awesomer…

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New Mozilla CEO Tries to Control ‘Gay Marriage Firestorm’

Brendan-EichIn case you missed it (and you probably didn’t), Mozilla’s incoming CEO Brendan Eich has weathered a bit of criticism thanks to a 2008 donation to a group supporting Prop 8, the law that outlawed same-sex marriage in the state of California.

While Mozilla released a corporate statement reaffirming its support for “equality for all, including marriage equality for LGBT couples”, other companies like OkCupid turned the issue into a cause.

Mozilla employees also made their disapproval quite clear on social.

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Chick-Fil-A CEO Is So Over This Whole ‘Gay Marriage’ Thing

shutterstock_109249637In case you needed further evidence that anti-gay statements are no longer good business on the national level, Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy—the loudest of the corporate voices on the topic in years past—now says he’s done talking about it.

In an extended interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week, Cathy said he “regrets” turning his company into a corporate spokesperson on social policy:

“I’m thankful that I lived through it and I learned a lot from it.”

His personal feelings on the matter have not changed, but:

“The bottom line is we have a responsibility here to keep the whole of the organization in mind and it has to take precedence over the personal expression and opinion on social issues.

…it’s probably very wise from our standpoint to make sure that we present our brand in a compelling way that the consumer can relate to.”

He might just be onto something.

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Malaysia Airlines Dedicates All Media Channels to Missing Flight

malaysia-airlinesAs the entire world follows the mystery of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and its 200+ passengers, you may wonder what the company’s communications team is doing to address the rapidly-evolving story.

The answer is, essentially, “everything.”

The Malaysian blogger behind “Unspun may be the best source for info on MA’s PR efforts at the moment, and he gives the company a general thumbs up on the crisis comms front.

First, a visit to the company’s English-language homepage reveals a link to a “dark site” reserved for such incidents, which amounts to a series of numbered press releases regarding the missing flight.

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A quick scroll through the statements shows us that the airline is responding to almost every potential update.

The same holds true for its social media assets.

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Fast Food Restaurants Get More Bad PR Because Reddit and Rogue Employees

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They will do anything for a quick buck.

Despite all the health awareness floating around in food land, fast food joints continue to grow at alarming rates because people adore making easy money and other people love order easy food for themselves and the kids. That said, people can’t seem to get enough dropping a flaming bag of dog poop at the door of each eatery.

That includes current and former employees. Someone on Reddit decided to ask the $64,000 question, “Fast food workers of Reddit, what should we NOT order at your restaurant? Why not?” What happened is nothing short of crisis communications sensory overload.
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Yes, Wall Street Still Has a Big Perception Problem

Got 15 minutes to spare? Listen to this NPR ”Planet Money” clip in which New York magazine financial writer Kevin Roose gives us a hint as to why the insular world of big finance no longer appeals to Ivy League MBAs as much as it used to. In short, The Social Network is this generation’s Wall Street.


Roose says:

“The sex appeal is in Silicon Valley now. It has the…cultural cachet that Wall Street used to have…the tech industry is making things…”

That’s a key insight: tech makes things while Wall Street “re-bundles” things—at least according to popular opinion.

Younger bankers want to change all that. While all evidence indicates that the old generation is perfectly fine with being feared, the new generation “wants to be loved.”

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Comcast Really Wants You to Approve of Its Time Warner Merger

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Not only does Comcast care—it also knows what you think.

The company is well aware of the fact that it has maintained one of corporate America’s worst reputations for several years by scoring near the bottom in pretty much every category from product quality to customer service (which might improve if you’d just stop calling so often).

When the media megalith announced its $45 billion plans to merge with Time Warner Cable, most tech folks turned to the world’s greatest comfort food: comedy.

Of course, the merger is a very serious matter—and this week’s New York Times story shows us how a hated company tries to spin a hated business move.

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