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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Hurd’

PR, Perfected: Getting the CEO Ready for Primetime

I’ve been touting the benefits of mediabistro’s premium AvantGuild membership for years. For $55 bucks you learn from the journalist perspective exactly how articles get assigned and why, you get discounts on classes and on other things like Zipcar memberships and health insurance, and a free subscription to either Wired, New York, W, or The Atlantic.

You also get access to “PR, Perfected,” a series of articles on critical issues in the business. With HP’s deposed CEO Mark Hurd firmly in the news, and BP’s Tony Hayward spun out of the news, the latest PR lesson, “Coach C-Suite Execs for the Spotlight” is particularly timely.

Though the article mainly applies to presentations, the advice works for all appearances including those with difficult Q&A portions. The CEO needs be thoroughly prepped, supported with visuals, and not stiff.

Ideally, a half-day of closed-door media training is recommended. Why closed door? Because it’s hard to hear a consultant tell you that you look shifty. Why several hours? Because it takes time to admit your flaws and adjust. A camera with instant playback is a must here.

This article and many more PR, Perfecteds are available here.

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Media Questions APCO’s Advice to HP Board

HP2.jpgThe New York Times published details this morning about meetings between Hewlett-Packard’s (HP) Board and their PR firm APCO Worldwide on how best to handle accusations of sexual harassment against CEO Mark Hurd. The Board took action, Hurd resigned, but now critics are wondering, what if the accusations are proven to be unfounded.

“There is a missing piece here because it doesn’t make sense,” said Shane Greenstein, a business professor at the Kellogg School in the piece.

The truth is, no one knows. It is likely however, the Board knows something we don’t about Hurd’s situation. The other explanation is it is acting as conservatively as possible after the all-out war that broke out just a few years ago when it was discovered that then-Chairwoman Patricia Dunn authorized a clandestine campaign to ferret out who on the Board was leaking information to the press.

Peter Himler, “The Flack” blogger and former head of media relations at the largest of all crisis shops Burson-Marsteller explains crisis comm this way (after beginning with a “no shit Sherlock:”

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