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Crisis Communications

Apple Pay May Not Be the Credit Option of the Future Just Yet

apple pay announcementWhen Apple Pay was announced as the latest technology in mobile payments, the one thing that concerned all smartphone owners was security.

What with breaches at Home Depot, Neiman Marcus, StaplesSally Beauty Supply and more, consumers are understandably hesitant with a wallet in a phone.

Target is still reeling from its Christmas debacle in 2013, so Apple Pay has a large hill to climb.

Thanks to reports of glitches and this dude after the jump who swiped his wife’s card without requests for verification, that hill is quickly becoming a mountain.

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Another Reason Why BP Cannot Move Forward From the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

bp oil spillThe Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened in 2010. In an age of swift news cycles, it’s a rare story that lasts for not just weeks or months, but years. This one, rightfully so, has.

In part, this is the doing of BP. Last week, an opinion piece ran in Politico magazine in which the oil company questioned just how much the Gulf was damaged by the spill.

This question sends the message that BP still isn’t taking responsibility for what it did.

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Avengers 2: Age of Ultron Trailer Leaks; Marvel Embraces Crisis

ultron avengers

Hell hath no fury like a Comic Con nerd bent on finding a trailer and leaking it.

This has consistently been the plight of Stan Lee and Marvel Studios — how to protect the brand from making a movie public before the marketing campaign is ready. Granted, it’s only a week early, but is nothing sacred, people?!

Marvel Studios was forced to release the official trailer (in all of its glorious HD viewing pleasure) thanks to some troll out there with too much time on his hands who somehow posted the video. Many companies would have flipped out, but it takes a superhero to embrace a crisis…fittingly, Marvel did just thatRead more

Crisis Manager Explains Why She Gave Up on ‘Real Housewife’

The Real Inmates of Danbury

The Real Soon-to-Be Inmate of Danbury

Which reality show has done more damage to New Jersey’s reputation: Jersey Shore or The Real Housewives of New Jersey? We can’t decide — and neither can Governor Chris Christie, who’s made a point of slamming them both while reminding the rest of the world that Snooki is from Poughkeepsie, dammit!

We can’t believe we missed this popcorn revelation yesterday, but it seems Wendy Feldman — crisis expert and advisor to celebrities facing jail time — has thrown up her hands regarding now-former client Teresa Giudice.

There’s a real lesson in this tabloid story, though the most amusing thing about it has been Feldman’s response on Twitter.

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UPDATE: Toys ‘R Us Breaking Bad Figures: Crisis or Not?

Bryan Cranston can joke about this, but it’s become a serious story for Toys ‘R Us if only because of the volume of press coverage about the Breaking Bad-themed toy line. Here’s the company’s only response to date:

“The products you reference are carried in very limited quantities and the product packaging clearly notes that the items are intended for ages 15 and up. Items from this TV series are located in the adult action figure area of our stores.”

So is this a big deal or not?

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People Still Think Their Data Is Vulnerable at Retailers That Experienced Data Breaches

target storeWith the holidays right around the corner, retailers are getting geared up for all the sales they’d like to make to end 2014 on a high note. But Target is still dealing with the repercussions of the big data breach from 2013′s holiday season.

A survey released yesterday by CreditCards.com found that 45 percent of customers would “probably not” or “definitely not” shop at retailers that said they had computer breaches. And 48 percent of people said they’ll probably be shopping with cash, which means that they’ll have very fixed budgets. Once the cash is gone, the shopping stops, which will curb spending.

These aren’t good stats for retailers.

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Newly Minted ‘Ebola Czar’ Conspicuously Absent from Ebola Strategy Meeting

ron klein

ICYMI: America is freaking completely out over three isolated cases of Ebola with a strand of connection to warrant a skosh of hysteria (and some PR fees for managing crisis communications).

To help deal with a situation that is less than a month old, President Obama felt pressured empowered to appoint an “Ebola Czar” who will help guide the federal response while working hand-in-hand with the CDC.

Enter into the fray Ron Klain, formerly known as Chief of Staff for Veeps Biden and Gore. Klain, who will reportedly answer to both White House homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, is supposed to be the go-to source for all things Ebola.

Yet reports held that Klain did not attend a White House meeting Friday discussing the federal response to the domestic threat. And when it came time for the first strategy meeting, Klain was nowhere to be found. No word yet from any of his bosses…yet.

Chin up, America.

Reuters Has Some Ebola Crisis Advice for Burson-Marsteller

Texas Health

Pic via Mike Stone/Getty Images

Late yesterday, a writer at Reuters responded to the news that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital had hired Burson-Marsteller with some very healthy skepticism…directed not at the firm but at its client.

Steven Brill, founder of both Court TV and American Lawyer magazine, notes that hospitals are generally “terrible at dealing with the media,” and he has some not-quite-friendly suggestions.

His basic points:

  • While most of the public has good impressions of hospitals, most don’t realize that this one and its executives make a lot of money, that very little of its revenue (1.3 percent) comes from charity, and that it is “among the most successful businesses in northern Texas”
  • No one seems to know whether a quality-control committee reviews the number of patients who contract infections — Ebola or otherwise
  • The hospital’s position on nonpayment (which obviously applied to the late, uninsured Ebola patient Thomas Harris Duncan, who was sent home after his first trip to the emergency room) has not been made clear

Brill’s suggestion is that “we’re sorry; mistakes were made” statements can only do so much and that Texas Health will have to go far beyond playing basic defense. He even encourages reporters to seek out hospital employees who will address these issues if the organization’s designated spokespeople do not.

We doubt the org will be so open, but for the record we hope journalists on the scene take his advice. Millions of people will be watching.

UPDATE: Sears Apologizes for Third Party Connecting Them with Third Reich

Sears-SorryYesterday, we brought you the distressing story of Sears and Amazon trying to serve the niche (and morose) market of Goths and Emos.

Why? Who knows, but there it is — a business plan to reach the supercilious and splenetic kids down the hall…swallowing razor blades and considering hematolagnia.

In short, they were selling Swastika rings not because of the whole Nazi thing but because it’s trendy. In less than 12 hours, Sears proved that it is still a retailer for the common man while Amazon proves it is…not. One communicated directly with the media, while the other chose to ignore headlines (and customer complaints).

By understanding its own crisis communications plan, Sears proved that it really does have everything.

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CDC: Dallas Nurse Contracts Ebola Due to ‘Inadvertent Breach of Protocol’

Dr. Mark Lester

This past weekend in the Dallas/Fort Worth region was supposed to be all about the Texas/Oklahoma game at the U.S. mecca of fried food: the State Fair of Texas. We had great weather, but something was looming…and it wasn’t good.

North Texas has been a little hysterical lately given the goings-on of the past couple of weeks. A man named Thomas Eric Duncan left Liberia, came to Dallas, and brought with him the first confirmed U.S. case of Ebola. Regretfully, he lost that fight, but not before the hospital caring for him entered an ongoing PR battle.

Now, one of the nurses who did the caring has contracted the disease. And the hospital may have a case of the PR yips.

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