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Crisis Communications

After #ObamaPresser, Sony Says The Interview Will Be Available… Somehow

Interview-posterPresident Obama shocked a lot of people when he came right out and said during Friday’s epic year-end press conference  that Sony made a “mistake” by pulling The Interview.

“We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States,” the President added. Oh snap!

It didn’t have much of an impact when Hollywood cried “foul” over the decision. But the President? Now Sony had one more problem to add to the other 99 on its plate.

So what do you do when the President calls you out in front of the world? Throw the message machine in reverse.

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Judy Smith Advising Sony Over Decision To Drop The Interview

judy smithTMZ says it has learned that Judy Smith, the crisis expert who inspired Olivia Pope on Scandalis advising Sony on how to handle the criticism it has received over pulling The Interview.

“Our sources tell us Smith has been especially helpful to Sony because of her deep contacts with the government, and she has been involved on both the D.C. and Hollywood fronts,” the site says.

The story goes on to say that Smith and her firm, Smith & Company, has been helping with the messaging, “that this is not just a Sony issue but an industry issue,” and the idea that this is an industry issue, not just a Sony issue.

“We’re told the ultimate mission is to somehow contain the PR fallout and navigate a way forward,” the site says.

That task is not made easier by today’s #ObamaPresser.

Sony Corp Comms Leader Canned After Email From Studio Head’s Hubby

via s_bukley /

via s_bukley /

The Sony leak is seriously the hack that keeps on giving. Now we have word that the head of corporate communications for the entertainment company, Charles Sipkins, lost his job shortly after emails calling for his dismissal passed between Bernie Weinraub, a former New York Times reporter, Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Weinraub’s wife, and Sony’s HR head George Rose.

According to Bloomberg, Pascal was left off of a roundtable hosted by The Hollywood Reporter that featured all of the heads of the major movie companies. Weinraub sent an email to Pascal on November 15 saying, “I would fire your PR guy immediately. Or at least tell him you’re not going to deal with him anymore.” Pascal forwarded that email to Rose who agreed. Six days later, Sipkins was out of a $600,000-per-year job.

Sony, of course, hasn’t commented on this citing the need for discretion in “personnel matters.” Pascal denied that the emails had anything to do with Sipkins’ dismissal. Sipkins didn’t comment.

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Howard Bragman: Bill Cosby Should Just ‘Disappear’

HowardBragmanExperts have advised that Bill Cosby make a personal statement in response to the continued allegations of rape and sexual assault being waged against him. Howard Bragman would like to disagree.

“I don’t see what he can say, and even when he says ‘This is just innuendo,’ why are you doing these comedy clubs?” Bragman tells Business Insider. “You don’t need the money, just go in your mansion and be happy.”

Bragman says that Cosby’s career is basically over, so seclusion might be the best option.

Or to use his terms: “Shut up and disappear.”

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CBS Comms Expert: Bill Cosby Needs To Say Something About These Allegations ASAP

The bad news for Bill Cosby keeps coming with TV Land now pulling syndicated broadcasts of The Cosby Show from the air. And, more damning, the AP has released the clip above, which now includes a previously unpublished segment where Cosby not only offers up a “no comment” on questions about the rape allegations, but then proceeds to talk to the reporter about “integrity” and ask that the portion with the “no comment” exchange be squashed. It’s cringeworthy.

The interview was conducted on November 6. The AP spoke with both Cosby and his wife about a Smithsonian exhibit in which the couple donated 50 pieces of African American artwork.

It’s just one more blow to Cosby’s credibility, which some say has been irreparably damaged.

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Was Spirit Airlines ‘State of Hate’ Report Really a #PRWin?

Break-Spirit-Airlines-2Few things in this world are universal.

There are some exceptions: gravity makes things fall-down-and-go-boom, holding your breath past turning purple isn’t smart, and eating every once in a while is good for the body.

Also: flying on Spirit Airlines sucks out loud.

Sure, the initial flight charges are nice, but once you get nickel-dimed, you may as well be flying first class on a private jet. So, if you were the PR person for this airline of piss and vinegar evocation, what would you do?

Embrace the hate? They did that, and it worked.

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U.S. Army Finally Catches Up with the 21st Century on the Word ‘Negro’


(Source: REUTERS/U.S. Army/Sgt. Seandale Jackson)

The U.S. Armed Forces employs some of the bravest men and women in the world. Don’t believe us? You take your gun to a country whose name no one can pronounce.

While most of America applauds those heroes daily, the PRNewserverse needs to call one branch out for not being too terribly with it on the domestic perception front — the U.S. Army.

Late last week, a published Army regulation held that superiors could use the word “Negro” to refer to “black or African-American” personnel.

And then the 1960s (or even the 1860s) called wanting its non-complementary sociological term back.

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Home Depot Crisis Comms Plan: Blame Microsoft

Home Depot

On Friday we told you that Home Depot was in need of some serious reputation cleanup in aisle 1 after a second story concerning digital privacy breaches went public: hackers stole approximately 53 million shoppers’ email addresses by targeting self-checkout lanes.

Now it seems the company has developed a strategy to follow its ho-hum “we’re sorry” statement: blame Windows.

9t05Mac dove into an earlier Wall Street Journal report on the event to find this tidbit:

“…the hackers were able to jump the barriers between a peripheral third-party vendor system and the company’s more secure main computer network by exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system, the people briefed on the investigation said.”

This report comes at a particularly bad time for Microsoft.

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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…


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Sir Richard Branson Tries To Convince Us To Stick With Virgin Galactic After Crash

sir richard bransonSir Richard Branson made the morning news show rounds this morning, stammering through a couple of interviews about Friday’s crash of a Virgin Galactic test flight that took the life of a 39-year-old pilot. Since the project was announced, it has been positioned as the future of space travel, with the wealthy and the famous such as Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio ponying up $250,000 for a ticket. Part science fiction, part modern-day technological innovation, Virgin Galactic made it seem like space travel for the average person wasn’t too far behind.

[Note: VG signed with Edelman for PR services back in April and is currently "leaning on" the firm in dealing with its most recent setback.]

Images of the wreckage pushed all of those ideas back into the realm of fantasy. So Sir Branson’s appearances and comments in the days after have sought to both reassure the public that commercial space travel will be safe when it’s available and convince everyone to dream, once again, about rocketing beyond the clouds.

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