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Crisis Communications

Malaysia Airlines Dedicates All Media Channels to Missing Flight

malaysia-airlinesAs the entire world follows the mystery of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and its 200+ passengers, you may wonder what the company’s communications team is doing to address the rapidly-evolving story.

The answer is, essentially, “everything.”

The Malaysian blogger behind “Unspun may be the best source for info on MA’s PR efforts at the moment, and he gives the company a general thumbs up on the crisis comms front.

First, a visit to the company’s English-language homepage reveals a link to a “dark site” reserved for such incidents, which amounts to a series of numbered press releases regarding the missing flight.

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A quick scroll through the statements shows us that the airline is responding to almost every potential update.

The same holds true for its social media assets.

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Fast Food Restaurants Get More Bad PR Because Reddit and Rogue Employees

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They will do anything for a quick buck.

Despite all the health awareness floating around in food land, fast food joints continue to grow at alarming rates because people adore making easy money and other people love order easy food for themselves and the kids. That said, people can’t seem to get enough dropping a flaming bag of dog poop at the door of each eatery.

That includes current and former employees. Someone on Reddit decided to ask the $64,000 question, “Fast food workers of Reddit, what should we NOT order at your restaurant? Why not?” What happened is nothing short of crisis communications sensory overload.
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San Francisco Thinks Bottled Water Should Tap Out

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We feel you, bro.

Whoever came up with an idea to sell water, bottle it and charge as much as $5 for it is nothing short of an evil genius, like Wile E. Coyote, only this cat dines on roadrunner stew nightly. The bottled water industry is now a $60 billion industry — annually.

While it’s nice and all healthy-like that all this water is being guzzled, the plastic bottles are causing quite the ecological kerfuffle. To wit, San Francisco has decided it is mad as hell and it’s not going to take it anymore as it prepares to become the first city in U.S. history to ban the sale of any plastic bottles. Anywhere.

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Twitter Mentions of the Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight Dropped 92 Percent In Less Than a Week

MH370We reported just the other day that Malaysia Airlines hired Ketchum to help with its PR efforts in the wake of missing flight MH390. Given the mystery and the tragedy of this situation and the way the airline handled it, it’s fitting that they would seek out professional communicators. But we may have reached a point where Ketchum’s job has gotten a little easier.

According to the authorities on this situation (CNN), “it could take months” or “years” to find out what happened to the aircraft. Actual officials say it’s possible we’ll never find out what happened.

Nearly a month after the disappearance of the airplane and with the promise of a lengthy, ongoing search, it looks like the once inexhaustible interest in the situation is getting exhausted.

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Rob Ford Is Trying Really, Really, Really Hard to Make a Comeback

Toronto’s crack Mayor Rob Ford finally gave an interview that wasn’t totally embarrassing.

Appearing on the Today show this morning to speak with Matt Lauer three months after vowing to make changes, Ford sat up straight and calmly answered questions about how he’s doing and his plans for the future. In a nutshell, he’s working out and preparing to campaign for another term as mayor with elections taking place on October 27.

Despite Ford’s monotone and lack of antics, there are two interesting things about this interview.

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AOL’s Tim Armstrong Gives Sincere Apologies

Or so says Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times in the first episode of his planned series #ApologyWatch (and yes, we know that others used the hashtag before him).

We like how someone just had to make the “we have too many lawyers in this country” non-joke and the way CNBC’s backing music serves as an Academy Awards-style call to wrap it up, already.

But yes, Lawrence Spiegel and Sorkin made some valid points about balancing the importance of waiting to ensure that there’s meaning behind the apology with the public’s desire for an immediate response in the social media era.

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Crisis Communications Case Study: Atlanta Snowstorm Edition

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NEWS FLASH: crisis communications is one of the most important services provided by our government—be it local, state or federal.

MWW‘s Jarrod Bernstein knows: his past titles include Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Acting Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs for United States Department of Homeland Security (among many others).

We recently spoke to Bernstein to get his take on lessons learned from the most recent public crisis comms incident: the “storm” that brought Atlanta to a standstill as residents spent hours stuck in traffic on streets blocked by less than three inches of snow.

The story included babies born on the highway, residents stranded in grocery stores and a significant hit to the reputation of not just the local government but the city itself.

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Redskins Hire Veteran Political Advisors to Handle Name Crisis

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Washington RedskinsSpeaking of football, what about those Washington Redskins?!?!

You almost certainly missed this Friday dump last week, but after initially denying rumors published by left-leaning blog ThinkProgress, a Redskins spokesperson confirmed that the team has hired a crew of veteran political communicators to help deal with the ongoing controversy over its name.

All of these advisors have a history of working with Republican Party candidates and officials on messaging/public polling, and each of them now runs his own consulting firm.

Check out the lineup after the jump.

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Super Bowl XLVIII’s Biggest Loser: New Jersey Transit

One name that definitely didn’t get any good press last night: New Jersey Transit.

Most who regularly commute to the city know the horrors of Penn Station at rush hour. We like to call it a Seventh Circle filled with exhausted professionals boarding standing-room only trains, desperate to return to the relative calm of the suburbs.

Yesterday the service shattered previous records as more than 30,000 people used the system. Most of them did not have a good experience, with delays of up to 90 minutes inspiring many social media complaints and even more creative curse words. Several fans collapsed. We’ll let the riders themselves tell you more:

This morning Gawker and other outlets collected some of the most horrific images—and they’ll make you thankful that you weren’t anywhere near MetLife stadium last night.

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Woody Allen’s Publicist Strongly Denies Abuse Allegations

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Allen’s wax double wins the creepy contest

Only one thing is certain: Woody Allen has had a rough few weeks.

As we begin to recover from our shock over the tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, we can expect to hear a lot more about the other story that rocked the entertainment world last week: the newly resurfaced allegations that Allen abused partner Mia Farrow‘s adopted daughter more than 20 years ago—when she was only 7 years old.

Dylan Farrow’s open letter, published by The New York TimesNicholas Kristof, went into graphic detail about the allegations, which first surfaced during Allen’s very public separation from Farrow. As Kristof himself reported, the public’s response was mixed:

One woman is definitely not thanking him: Woody Allen’s publicist Leslee Dart.

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