TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Damage Control

Facebook Sues DEA Over Fake Profile Pages

fb-dea

Facebook has tried, almost to a fault, to protect the identities of its users — as long as they’re real. See, for example, the site’s recent conflict that ended with the network allowing some users who dress as members of the opposite gender to use their stage names online.

The drama was based around fake profiles, which are highly frowned upon in Zuckerberg’s environment.

Recently, Facebook poked the Drug Enforcement Agency because it wants “assurances” that the feds are no longer using fake profile pages to conduct investigations. Read more

Mediabistro Course

PR: Incorporating Social Media & Multimedia

Public Relations: Incorproating Social Media and MultimdediaStarting October 22, learn how to use Twitter, Facebook, and keyword search to get your client's message heard! In this course, you'll learn how to develop online video, make social media updates, display multimedia content, and master your client's SEO so that your message will spread and reach all the right places. Register now!

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.

Read more

Aunt Jemima Sued for $2 Billion by Descendants of the Real ‘Mammy’

aunt jemina

Everyone is up in arms about the NFL team in Washington, and for good reason. Cries of racism have littered the nation’s capital and Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office for months. However, since the Commish is busy tackling an out-of-control crisis issue with domestic violence, #ChangeTheMascot has been shelved for a while.

Another mascot has risen to prominence recently, but it has nothing to do with sports and everything to do with your morning breakfast. Yes, we’re talking about Aunt Jemima.

The bandana-wrapped woman hearkens back to an earlier time in America — a time when people ate together as a family,  talked at the table instead of playing with mobile devices…and had a slave to do everything while they sat there.

Sure, it’s been a while since 1865 but the great-grandsons of the real Aunt Jemima are suing Quaker Oats for $2 billion of the pancake empire. Yes, that’s a lotta dough. (S0rry.)

Read more

Microsoft Admits That ‘Much Work’ Remains to Address Its (Lack of) Diversity

diversity-boys-club-620xa

Sometimes, bad news becomes a big snowball. A small dust-up collects a little dirt and begins rolling downhill as people stand there, watching it gain velocity as it prepares to smash the little hamlet at the base of the mountain.

When you hear Microsoft, you would think that the company itself is the snowball. This time, however, it’s the village in peril.

Last week the company introduced Windows 10 (math skills be damned). And now, America finds out that Bill Gates’ baby has grown up to become one big boys’ club.

Read more

Apple Damage Control Strategy: Blame Josh

Its appleAfter all the news and the pseudo-news and the record-breaking brand tweets, Apple finally responded to “bendgate” yesterday.

In many ways, the company’s actions show how far its strategy has moved away from the “take no prisoners” approach that an inside source described to us earlier this month. In that interview, the contact told us that the Apple of the past would never comment directly on anything. Yet he also noted that Tim Cook wants to “put a friendlier face on Apple”, and the company’s most recent moves seem to confirm that fact.

First, Apple release an official statement saying, effectively:

“Yes, a phone was bent, but it only happened to nine people (out of ten million).”

Apple even went further than that, inviting CBS to tour its previously super-secret iPhone testing facility to underscore the fact that everyone really needs to calm the hell down. The company even had some online brand advocates happy to let everyone else know that the “bend test” video you’ve all been passing around was a conspiracy dreamed up by a full-time hater.

Yesterday  brought a Bloomberg article that seemed to lay the blame for Apple’s performance issues at the feet of a single, unfortunate person. His name is Josh.

Read more

‘Most Common Misconceptions’ List Details Ferguson Damage Control Strategy

ferguson.si

The town of Ferguson, Missouri has obviously made quite a few headlines over the past two months.

We followed the story but avoided posting on it until it became a formal public relations matter: the town hired local firm Common Ground to handle its considerable media relations responsibilities and the story became — for some — an angle with which to pitch clients to media outlets hungry for more coverage.

In a late August post published on O’Dwyer’s blog, Denise Bentele of Common Ground confirmed that her agency was not the only one involved:

“The Devin James Group, a nationally certified Minority-owned firm, has been working with St. Louis County and the City of Ferguson as an independent liaison to handle the public relations and long-term needs”

Last night, a document titled “Most Common List of Misconceptions in Ferguson”, which was apparently released at a town hall meeting on Monday afternoon, made its way around Twitter, Facebook and the blog world, giving readers some insights into how the town is attempting to handle a wave of media attention that has yet to recede.

The full document is a talking points memo that’s worth a read for anyone with an interest in crisis communications.

Read more

Doug Ulman Finally Moves on From Livestrong

livestrongLivestrong — a one-of-a-kind case study in branding, PR, advocacy and damage control — has lost its long-time CEO Doug Ulman.

Ulman’s 14 years at Livestrong included both a period of stunning growth fueled by Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour de France victories and the little yellow $1 bracelets that helped carry an aggressive message about beating cancer and a subsequent descent as rapid as any of Armstrong’s own Alpine passes.

Ulman will take his talents to Pelotonia, an organization in Columbus, Ohio with a very similar mission. Pelotonia is successful in its own right, having raised more than $60 million through bike rides. (The money helps fund research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.)

This is a good move for both Ulman and Livestrong, because Ulman literally gets to leave town (Austin) and put the best of what he knows to good use. The cancer community will never hold what happened in France against him, and there’s no one more experienced in managing the operations of non-profit driven by cycling.

Livestrong gets to move on too.

Read more

Mexican Wal-Mart Under Fire for Allegedly Hosting In-Store Cockfight

walmart chickenIt’s going to take more than “clean up in aisle seven” to wash this one away.

Wal-Mart Mexico, or Walmex, has come under fire for allegedly hosting a cockfight in its Boca del Rio store in order to promote a soda company.

What happened to good old fashioned free samples?

If the allegations are proven true, the retailer could face fines of up to 96,000 pesos ($7,240), as cockfighting is illegal in Boca del Rio.

A Walmex spokesman, Antonio Ocaranza, said the the promotion was not actually a cockfight, as the roosters weren’t armed with blades, no betting took place, and none of the roosters were harmed.

“It wasn’t a cockfight,” Ocaranza told Bloomberg. “There wasn’t anything that would be in violation of any game regulations.”

Photos of the event (below) depict the penned roosters looking agitated and appearing to attack one another…so, there were cocks, and they fought, but it wasn’t technically a “cockfight” because the birds weren’t wielding weapons? Lovely, then. Read more

Under Armour Comms VP Explains Damage Control Strategy

Here’s a quick but relevant clip that our friends at AdAge posted yesterday.

Diane Pelkey — VP of global communications for Under Armour — explains how the brand tackled the fallout from the bombshell February Wall Street Journal story in which members of the U.S. speed skating team blamed the company’s products for their disappointing performance at the Sochi Olympics.

Pelkey’s point is simple, and it’s worth repeating: be transparent, don’t hide from the story and make sure to offer all relevant spokespeople to media contacts for comment.

While the success of the ensuing campaign may be up for debate, the logic behind the strategy is sound.

Urban Outfitters Semi-Apologizes for Kent State Sweatshirt with Blood-Red Stains

The latest installment of the “Urban Outfitters hocks yet another terribly-offensive clothing item” saga centers around this Kent State shirt, complete with what looks rather unmistakeably like blood stains. enhanced-16199-1410759430-11

What was listed as a $129 “vintage” shirt struck most people who saw it as a tasteless, insensitive reminder of the Kent State Massacre that left four people dead in 1970. As the image swirled around the internet and outrage mounted, even Kent State itself made its disgust known, saying in a statement:

“We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit…This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.We invite the leaders of this company as well as anyone who invested in this item to tour our May 4 Visitors Center, which opened two years ago, to gain perspective on what happened 44 years ago and apply its meaning to the future.”

In response to the flood of complaints, Urban Outfitters issued a semi-apology for the product on Monday morning, saying “We deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively.”

Read more

NEXT PAGE >>