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Crisis Communications

Does Social Media Make Crisis Communications More Difficult to Manage?

Crisis-magnifiedMuch like the Internet changed the way people read the news, social media drastically altered the way PR pros develop our strategies.

Every aspect of media relations, public affairs, and client outreach has been influenced because every person has a voice on whatever online network he/she chooses. However, the one area in which most of us are just beginning to understand social’s influence is crisis communications.

All crisis communications plans are being rectified, teams are being reconstructed, and ideas are being changed because the information vacuum of social media can suck a little if you don’t prepare accordingly.

The question is: When it comes to social media and crisis communications, is “preparation” even possible? An answer may be in a story involving a canine hater and former CEO of Centerplate named Desmond HagueRead more

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STUDY: President Obama’s Ratings Hit Another Record Low

obama ratings

From ISIS to the economy, domestic drama to foreign policy, it seems that the President is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

Last month, the entire U.S. government received the deplorable edict of the worst approval rating ever, with 71 percent of respondents saying that the country is “headed in the wrong direction.” The same Gallup poll revealed that only 41 percent of Americans approve of the work done by the Oval Office.

This month it got worse.

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Home Depot Data Breach Could Break Record Set by Target

Home Depot

Bad news for Home Depot as the company presumably prepares to issue some serious apologies: a recently reported credit card data breach could quickly surpass Target‘s nightmare to become the biggest in history.

From The New York Times this morning:

Over the last few days, thousands of fresh credit and debit card numbers have surfaced on so-called carding sites, which are websites where stolen credit card data is sold…So far, all roads point back to Home Depot. And if the evidence uncovered so far proves to be valid, the hack could top the record-setting breach of Target’s network last December.

It gets worse.

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Apple Reveals Very Little About iCloud Glitch Linked to Celebrity Photo Leak

Icloud

In a quick move that should surprise no one who read any of 9to5Mac’s exhaustive look into Apple’s PR department, the tech giant very quickly addressed concerns stemming from the weekend incident in which intimate photos of several media personalities leaked online.

The Next Web honed in on iCloud as a possible source for the leak soon after news broke, reporting that a glitch in the “Find My iPhone” service “appears to have allowed malicious users to ‘brute force’ a target account’s password on Apple’s iCloud”

Yesterday a company rep told Re\code:

“We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report.”

As soon as that story went live, multiple headlines claimed that Appleappears to have fixed” the problem. Read more

Zara Acts Fast to Pull Shirt That Resembles Concentration Camp Uniform

Zara has been trending all day for all the wrong reasons.

The retailer faced swift backlash to a striped children’s shirt decorated with a yellow star that looks like the uniforms worn in concentration camps during the Holocaust.

The company quickly took to Twitter to apologize individually to users who criticized the company for the item. The tweet above is repeated over and over and in a number of languages on its timeline right now.

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Mike Ditka on Daniel Snyder’s PR Problem: ‘What’s All the Stink?’

Football Pro NFC  Games 1984 Devision Playoff

Funny how he’s looking away from this Redskins situation too.

Some people are celebrated for their lack of — or complete disregard for — a filter. If you want a true opinion, one without all the flowery crap, just holler at people like Donald Trump, Rosie O’Donnell, Sophia from The Golden Girls, or any uptown socialite with a little booze intake.

The NFL has someone like that: Hall of Famer, beloved coach and current ESPN broadcaster (for now) Mike Ditka.

For many months, people have stepped to one side or the other regarding whether the Washington football team needs to change its mascot. Some believe it is a regaled tradition in the NFL and that changing that mascot would be criminal. Others take a more human interest angle, arguing that the act of calling someone a “Redskin” is bad enough to warrant a change.

Guess which side ‘Da’ Bears’ coach is on…

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Ferguson, MO Hires Common Ground Public Relations

Ferguson, MO, the town that is roiling with protests and racial strife after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of the police, has hired a PR firm, Common Ground Public Relations for communications help.

In comments to Talking Points Memo, Nina Kult, a Common Ground rep, makes it abundantly clear that the firm is only handling the deluge of media requests that the city has been getting since protests began about a week ago. Or at least that’s all they’ll talk about.

“We’re just handling media relations as of very recently and that’s really all we’re doing. We’re just handling media queries and that’s all I can really say right now,” Kult is quoted saying.

Chances are, the number of media inquiries is more than the city has ever had to deal with. A suburb of St. Louis, the town is now basically the subject of round-the-clock coverage on major outlets, including MSNBC, The New York Times and The Huffington Post.

Continuing with the close scrutiny of all the goings on, TPM notes that the Common Ground’s “Meet The Team” page is populated by an entirely White staff. Oh geez.

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Ashley McCown Runs Down 2014′s Biggest Crises to Date

It’s time for another rundown of the worst offenders in 2014′s PR Crisis Sweepstakes.

In this exclusive clip, Solomon McCown president Ashley McCown runs down the ones you know: GM’s self-made safety nightmare; Donald Sterling’s racist breakdown; Malaysia Airlines dual tragedies.

We’re most interested in the #1 crisis — the one surrounding Boston’s Market Basket and the family disputes that led the company to fire popular president Arthur T. Demoulas.

The company’s board meets today, with New Hampshire/Massachusetts governors Maggie Hassan Deval Patrick attempting to broker a cease-fire of sorts in the interest of avoiding all unnecessary drama.

How do you think the dispute will resolve itself?

Why the Redskins Lost PR Points by Hiring Burson-Marsteller

redskins_facepalmFULL DISCLOSURE: I am a proud former Burson employee.

That said, the Washington Redskins lost whatever integrity they had left when they hired Burson-Marsteller yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, the hire made sense. If B-M is known for anything, it is a powerful one-two combination of public affairs and crisis communications.

Those are two things that team and its thick-headed owner sorely need.

The problem is that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder didn’t hire them to help his football team do the admirable thing. He hired B-M to help his team continue to do the wrong thing.

And there goes his credibility, swirling down the drain.

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Comcast Cries Mea Culpa on ‘Hellish’ Service Call…But Does It Make a Difference?

bad customer service comcast

Comcast pissed off the wrong customer last week when it botched a service call with Ryan Block, former editor of the tech site Engadget and product developer at AOL.

NPR called it “condescending“; Gawker called it “hellish“; The Verge called it “a nightmare“; Yahoo called it “terrorizing.”

As fellow PRNewser Shawn Paul Wood posted earlier, “flacks who enjoy the various #PRFail called it ‘priceless’”. In case you missed it, you can hear what went down at the link: Comcast ‘Provides’ What May Be The Worst Service Call Ever. ”

A week later, the company’s Chief Operating Officer Dave Watson calls it “typical”, saying the incident was “painful to listen to” but that the rep “did a lot of what we trained him…to do.”

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