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Posts Tagged ‘bad bosses’

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Failed PR 101

Today in CEOs Behaving Badly: We understand why AOL chief Tim Armstrong was a little upset at the unfortunate struggles of Patch, his well-meaning $300 million experiment in hyper-local news content. He promised AOL that the venture would turn a profit by year’s end, and in order to bring this about he seemingly had no choice but to fire hundreds of the writers, editors, and managers at more than 400 individual Patch sites around the country.

But this hardly excuses the commission of a cardinal PR sin: letting his temper get away with him during a 1,000-strong conference call and firing an employee for taking a photo during his speech. It was mild as outbursts go, but it was recorded for the ages and distributed to every media outlet around.

This wasn’t just any employee, by the way; it was Patch’s creative director Abel Lenz. The fact that such a Trump-worthy incident was terrible PR should be obvious to all, but we’ll go into a bit more detail:

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MSG to Employees Stranded by Sandy: Come in or Lose Vacation Days

We’ve read plenty of reports about companies using Hurricane Sandy as a promotional tool; but how are managers behaving? We assume that they’ve all been understanding and respectful of their employees during this extremely trying time, right? According to Gawker, the answer is a resounding no.

Managers at the Madison Square Garden company, a massive conglomerate including the New York venue itself as well as the Knicks, the Rangers, the MSG TV network, and several other venues, sent each of its thousands of employees an email message that will not earn the company any PR plaudits.

(When reading this message, remember that the island of Manhattan essentially still has no power below 34th street, which happens to be the very spot where Madison Square Garden is located–and that all traditional forms of transit have yet to return to operational status in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.)

A quick summary: The company understands that travel to and from the city is extremely difficult and time-consuming right now, and managers know that many employees are currently without power–especially those that live in New Jersey. But (and it’s a big but)…

“We recognize that many employees are impacted by the transportation issues as well as a lack of power, and that some are even dealing with personal damage and health issues. In the event that you need to make the personal decision that you are unable to come to work, you will need to notify your supervisor and take a personal or vacation day to cover the time off.”

In other words: Suck it up and get the hell out here or you’ll lose your days. How will you do it? Surprise us!

Will this be a big PR issue for MSG?

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