Public Relations Crises
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Transparency clause deleted from PR email touting Boston 2024 Olympics bid - Boston Herald

Transparency clause deleted from PR email touting Boston 2024 Olympics bid - Boston Herald | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
The public relations team pushing to bring the 2024 Olympics to Boston initially touted transparency and a public comment process in a draft statem
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Don't Blame Baylor For Hiring A PR Firm; Blame The System That Incentivizes It - Forbes

Don't Blame Baylor For Hiring A PR Firm; Blame The System That Incentivizes It - Forbes | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
If hiring a PR firm helps Baylor get in the Playoff, then it's money well spent.
Ellie Carrow's insight:

This article sums up how Baylor University recently hired a PR firm to help make their case for the football team to be selected as one of the four teams that will make it to the Playoffs. They are currently ranked at number 7 on the College Football Playoff selection committee’s rankings. This news caused quite a bit of conversation and was met with a lot of scrutiny. People judged the decision and viewed it negatively, think that it just seemed silly for a football team to hire a PR firm to help increase their chances on making the playoffs. The author of this article makes a case for Baylor, saying why should they be criticized for doing something to help increase their chances, when it is perfectly legal and “not Baylor’s decision to play in a system that entirely relies upon human voting.” He compares Baylor being criticized to “faulting a soccer team for flopping to draw penalties or an NBA team for tanking to get a high draft pick.” He basically states that it should not be an organizations fault for taking action that is encouraged in the flawed system they are a part of. The article makes note of the fact that this is not, by any means, the first time this kind of campaigning had been used in the sports system. The author states how it is sad that these kind of campaigns work, but blames it on the human brain and how we as humans are easily susceptible to worthless advertising and have extreme recency bias. The article concludes that Baylor’s move to employ a PR firm is smart on their part. The author goes on to assess the flaws in the selection system, saying that he believes the use of computers in the selection process could solve some of the human bias issues. He concludes that ultimately, Baylor should be praised for their “savvy” move, and if it helps increase their chance of being selected at all, it was money well spent. If there are people trying to point fingers, they should point them at the system, not schools who navigate it.

This case reminds me of our readings on image restoration. Baylor is not necessarily restoring an image, but they are getting help to show off their team in a more favorable way. I agree with the author in that I think that Baylor’s move was smart in this case and if their chances to be in playoffs do increase, it is totally worth it. Overall, I think that this move can only help Baylor’s image in the public and especially among the selection committee. 

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FIFA using renowned PR agency which backed England's failed 2018 World ... - Daily Mail

FIFA using renowned PR agency which backed England's failed 2018 World ... - Daily Mail | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
FIFA are employing the international PR agency — Weber Shandwick — used by England 2018’s doomed World Cup bid to crisis manage the build-up to the next global tournament in Russia in 2018.
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Virgin Galactic crash: Sir Richard Branson shows how to communicate in a crisis

Virgin Galactic crash: Sir Richard Branson shows how to communicate in a crisis | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
In times of crisis, brands require strong leaders who can communicate confidently, and compassionately, in the intimidating glare of the...
Ellie Carrow's insight:

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, has had quite the crisis on his hands since Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo crashed during a flight test on Friday. The crash killed one pilot and seriously injured another. This incident had a lot of potential to become a big public relations crisis, but fortunately Branson stayed on top of the situation and displayed excellent crisis communication skills.

 

Virgin Galactic represents a dream Branson has to make commercial space travel a reality, so when the company when Friday's incident happened, Branson responded swiftly and sincerely. When Branson heard of the accident, he immediately flew to the scene in California's Mojave Desert. Jonathan Hemus, of Insignia Communications, states that what you do and say in the hours after an incident happens, sets the tone for how your organization will be judged. 


Branson's first comments on the accident were released from his personal Twitter account. In his first Tweets paid respect to the "brave pilots and families of those affected" showing a lot of sympathy toward the tragedy. Hemus claimed that Branson's use of the word "brave" was interesting saying it shows support for his employees, but also attempts to influence the narrative of the story. He later followed up with a longer statement paying tribute to those involved, but also making it clear that they must persevere with the space project.


Third City's Mark Lowe said this on Branson: "He always handles crises well, for two reasons. Firstly, he has a quality of empathy that is rare among senior businesspeople. Secondly, he gets ahead of the game, which he's done this time with a very personal blog post that's been picked up across international news outlets."


Though this whole situation is pretty fresh and still developing, I think that so far Sir Richard Branson is really displaying how to ideally control a crisis. He has stayed on top of the situation and gotten to the media first. As the article mentions, he also set the narrative for the situation by showing empathy, and portraying the pilots as brave.

 

This situation makes me reflect on some of the readings we have had throughout the semester. First, because of the fact that Branson has initially set the narrative for the story, I can somewhat relate this situation with the episodic framing theory. Mainly for the reasons that Branson has done a good job of getting to the media first and setting the tone for how others will view the situation. Then, of course, this is a great example of crisis communication. The case is still developing, but at very least in the very first stages of addressing the situation, I would say Branson has done a good job.



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School Daze: Rutgers Fails Crisis Management 101

School Daze: Rutgers Fails Crisis Management 101 | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
The recent crisis at New Jersey’s state university illustrates how failing to involve trusted PR counsel in critical decisions and policy matters can cost your organization its reputation. Here, Virgil Scudder shares key lessons communicators can learn from this debacle.
Ellie Carrow's insight:

The athletic department at Rutgers University in New Jersey suffered public relations scandal after scandal. It started when a video leaked featuring head basketball coach, Mike Rice, striking players, pummeling them with basketballs, and screaming vulgarities at them. Athletic Director Tim Pernetti saw the video and took it to president of the university Robert L. Barchi. Instead of choosing to watch it they suspended Rice for 3 games, fined him $50,000 and gave him a warning, ordering him to take anger management counseling.  When the video went public in April, the university fired Rice. Barchi also dismissed Pernetti and replaced him with Julie Hermann. Shortly after, information surfaced about a letter that Hermann’s former volleyball team she coached at University and Tennessee wrote claiming that she had inflicted “mental cruelty” and caused “unbearable suffering.” A former assistant coach to Hermann also claimed that Hermann fired her for being pregnant. Barchi named Gregory Jackson as his chief of staff. Four former campus employees filed a lawsuit against Rutgers and Jackson stating that Jackson bullied them, intimidated them, and forced them out of their positions because of their age. In short, within a small amount of time there were many incidents, in which the public relations were dismal the throughout each. Virgil Scudder, author of the article, states that Rutgers mishandled the situations from the very beginning. He believes the president should have looked at the video initially and fired the coach. The university as a whole should have more carefully vetted the people who are in leadership positions. I agree with Scudder in that he thinks that in addition to firing the coach, the university should have made a public statement on why they fired him, to send a message that they do not tolerate his actions. Instead the university was very defensive, tried to cover information up, downplayed, and could have used a PR team.

Just like Scudder, I can notice many PR issues with this case. The main issue I see with Rutgers is that they did not communicate with their publics well and they tried to cover up important issues and just hope that they pass over. It would be one thing if it were only one issue, but there were multiple issues they were not addressing, and because they were not addressing them it took a toll on the university’s credibility. In the reputation reading by Waymer and VanSlette, they mention the importance of a good reputation. Though that article mainly focuses on reputation and diversity, I still found a connection between it and the Rutgers case. Also, in Rutgers case, image restoration theories we learned about could be applied. They took some corrective action in the end, but for the most part, I think they will still need to work on restoring their image (especially in athletics) as a credible and trusted source.

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DiGiorno Pizza Not to Blame for Hashtag Mix Up - Viral Global News

DiGiorno Pizza Not to Blame for Hashtag Mix Up - Viral Global News | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
Viral Global News DiGiorno Pizza Not to Blame for Hashtag Mix Up Viral Global News DiGiorno Pizza is not to blame for the recent hashtag mix-up in which a social media manager accidentally used the hashtag #whyIstayed; and this is not a story about...
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In wake of Target, Home Depot tight with info in breach response - Business Insurance

In wake of Target, Home Depot tight with info in breach response - Business Insurance | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
In wake of Target, Home Depot tight with info in breach response
Business Insurance
A spate of recent breaches has tested crisis communications across the retail sector.
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Five Mistakes Your Company is Making in China... Right Now

Five Mistakes Your Company is Making in China... Right Now | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
By Chris Deri China has become an increasingly important part of more companies’ current performance and long-term strategy. However, despite the market’s growing strategic importance, there is still a lack of understanding at many global headquarters about the unique trends, obstacles and opportunities that can greatly impact how a company fares [...]
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Israelis and Palestinians struggle to win the public relations war ...

Israelis and Palestinians struggle to win the public relations war ... | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
On the ground in Gaza, it's a war of munitions, blood and terror. But in Canada, there's a different war being waged about the conflict in the Middle East — a public relations war.
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PR Guru's Advice To Bill Cosby: 'Shut Up And Disappear'

PR Guru's Advice To Bill Cosby: 'Shut Up And Disappear' | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
Crisis expert Howard Bragman analyzes the Cosby situation.
Ellie Carrow's insight:

Over 13 women have claimed to have been sexually assaulted by revered television dad Bill Cosby recently. As a result TV Land has stopped showing The Cosby Show reruns, Netflix has delayed the release of a Cosby special, and NBC stopped development on a new sitcom that would star Cosby. These claims have also spurred all sorts of media uproar and scandal, but despite all of that Cosby is still performing. Though we cannot be certain why Cosby is still choosing to perform, crisis PR expert and founder of 15 Minutes Public Relations, Howard Bragman, predicts that Cosby’s over 50 year long career is most likely over and say that Cosby should “shut up and disappear.” Bragman voices that he thinks it is hard to see how anyone would want to do business with Bill Cosby right now, citing NBC and Netflix pulling out as examples. In this article Bragman does not seem to think that there is anything that Cosby can say to change perceptions anytime soon. On Cosby still performing at comedy clubs, Bragman just does not understand why he is. “You don’t need the money, just go in your mansion and be happy,” said Bragman. Bragman does admit that Cosby does not have too many good options right now. With that though, the three possible solutions on how to deal with the scandal that he comes up with are: “You can not talk,” "You can go on record and deny it, which he has done and more people keep coming out of the woodwork,” and/or ,"Or you can say, 'Yes, I did it and I'm going to get help for it,' but that would open up all sorts of litigation and I don't think that's something you can advise him to do." Overall, Bragman does not see how this is going to blow over because it was not just a one-time event, but a lifestyle and Bragman states that he thinks Cosby is lucky to not have to go to trial. As for relating this back to our readings, I would say that this case relates somewhat to Amy’s Baking Company in terms that Bragman believes that Cosby should just shut up and go away, which I think is similar advice he’d have said to Amy and Samy. I do not think that it is wise for Cosby to still perform, though I see why he would want to. If there was only one or two claims against him, I think that it would be okay if he performed and tried to brush the incident off. But, because of the amount of allegations, I agree with Bragman and do not think that Cosby should be performing still. I also think this could develop into a case of image restoration if Cosby does not leave or get pushed out of the spotlight. 

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Darren Wilson's Public Relations Victory - Forbes

Darren Wilson's Public Relations Victory - Forbes | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
Everything about the shooting and aftermath in Ferguson, Mo.
Ellie Carrow's insight:

The premise of this article is that despite all the controversial issues concerning the Ferguson, MO situation, from a public relations standpoint one must say that Darren Wilson’s decision to go on television for an interview following the grand jury’s decision was a brilliant PR move. Though Wilson has a Justice Department investigation and many other issues hanging over his head right now, he spoke to ABC news the day after the verdict was released, even though he was probably encouraged by all around him to lay low. The public relations world would have advised Wilson to do exactly what he did though. The article states that a key to this being a good move on Wilson’s part is that the timing was right. In the interview Wilson stated his account of what exactly happened with Mike Brown and why the grand jury was right in their decision not to indict him. If Wilson will be tried in the court of law, it did not hurt him to state his case to the American people first. The author of the article thinks he picked the right media outlet too when choosing to do the interview with ABC and George Stephanopoulos because neither the network nor Stephanopoulos is considered very conservative or friendly to law enforcement. Because he was not with a notably conservative network or interviewer that makes his interview appear more credible because he is not with someone who will be sympathetic. The article also points out how Stephanopoulos has a gentler interview style that would allow Wilson to respond to relevant questions in a more “relaxed and comprehensive manner.” The author also states that is was a wise choice for Wilson to do the interview categorically and notes that Wilson’s confident and unwavering responses, did him well too. From his appearance to the way Wilson answered questions, this article states that it was a credible interview and worked in his favor. One critical note is that Wilson should have expressed more remorse for the man he killed, but overall the article insists that the interview helped to boost Wilson’s credibility.

In such a serious and controversial case, I agree with the author in that it was a wise choice from a PR standpoint for Wilson to have an interview, especially after being silent for so long. His move to have an interview definitely relates back to image restoration theory in that that is essentially what he is trying to do in explaining his side of everything firsthand to Americans. I would say that the interview also constitutes as a form of the agenda setting theory. In participating in the interview, I think that it helped Wilson to “set the agenda” for what the public would talk about, and consider in terms of the whole case. Overall, I think that it was a very wise move for Wilson to have the interview and that from a PR standpoint, he did a pretty good job in utilizing public relations tactics. 

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Improved risk communication during infectious disease crises - Medical Xpress

Improved risk communication during infectious disease crises - Medical Xpress | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
As cases of the Ebola disease emerge in Europe, the crisis is gaining increasing levels of media coverage.
Ellie Carrow's insight:

The article discusses how as cases of Ebola are emerging in Europe, the crisis is gaining much media attention. The issue is that while some coverage can be good, certain types of coverage can strike up fear and stigmatization throughout the countries and produce harmful effects for the people involved. Therefore, excellent communication by those involved in vital. This is why the TELL ME (Transparent communication in Epidemics: Learning Lessons from experience, delivering effective Messages, providing Evidence) project is  developing models for improvement in risk communication during infectious disease crises. 

 

Since there is a lot of stigma coming along with having Ebola or being connected to the outbreak, there are fears that those showing possible symptoms might be afraid to speak up. This could potentially affect the African community in Europe that has been established there for many years. Because of these reasons, and many others, the TELL ME project realizes that effective communication can make a significant difference in the situation. TELL ME's main goals in communication are to: influence behaviors, reduce the spread of disease and avoid panic.


The research questions that TELL ME is exploring, in particular are: "What are the most appropriate communication methods to deal with complexity, uncertainty, ignorance, information asymmetries, overwhelming information, biased information, misinformation and malicious information?" The project will close in the beginning of 2015 and when it does the two things TELL ME hopes to have established are a communication work package for outbreak communication, and "prototype of a computational method for simulating the actions and interactions of autonomous decision-making entities within a virtual environment during an epidemic outbreak."


I think it is interesting how the TELL ME project is working to take control of miscommunication about Ebola. They have their research questions of sorts, and goals that they want to have established by the end of the communications study. I think that they too are going to utilize the Episodic Framing theory as they start developing more ideal ways to handle these kinds of situations. And, or course, overall this is ultimately a crisis communication case. TELL ME is simply trying to develop the best ways to communicate in this kind of a situation.

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Crisis Communications 101: What Should Paula Deen Have Done Differently? - CommPRO.biz

Crisis Communications 101: What Should Paula Deen Have Done Differently? - CommPRO.biz | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
If ever someone is in need of some solid crisis communications planning, it’s celebrity chef, Paula Deen.
Ellie Carrow's insight:

In 2013, Paula Deen’s image suffered when information about her using the derogatory “n” word as a reference to African Americans hit the general public. She admitted to using the word, but her efforts to remain in a favorable light after the incident, did not do much to help her image and potentially made her situation worse. Author of this article, CEO of Strategic Vision, David E. Johnson, states that Deen and her team were very unprepared to handle the situation and were lacking in crisis communication skills, and goes on to explain how Deen could have better handled the situation.

 

Johnson explains that the first step he believes that Deen should have taken is settling the case. He claims the impact of settling the case and moving on would have been minimal compared to the damage she has caused her brand. If the case could not have been settled, Johnson suggests that Deen and her team should have had a crisis communications plan in place to lessen the damage. Because, Deen and her team did not follow the strategy of having a crisis communications plan, Johnson states that Deen should have put a new image restoration plan into place that would help restore her image in the long run.

 

This case is a great example of why crisis communication plans are so important, especially if you have any past situations that might portray you in a negative light if leaked to public. A big component to crisis communication is image restoration. In our SPCH 4302 image restoration reading, we learned about the 5 image restoration strategies: denial, evading responsibility, reducing offensiveness, corrective action, and mortification. I believe that in this case, Deen may have tried to evade responsibility/reduce offensiveness when she blamed her use of the word on her southern heritage in her initial statement.

 

As Johnson points out in the article, there are many different approaches Deen could have taken to help maintain a favorable reputation, or to at least have less image restoring to do than she has now. I think that though Deen utilized mortification a bit, her main focus when approaching this situation should have been mortification and corrective action. She attempted to apologize and somewhat correct her actions, but her attempts were not good enough for the public to maintain a view of her as an excellent chef and sweet cooking show host they once knew her as. I believe that Deen will be lying low for a long time before the all publics let this pass over and are willing to see her in a favorable light again.

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DiGiorno Mistakenly Used the Domestic Abuse Twitter Campaign #WhyIStayed to Promote Their Pizza

DiGiorno Mistakenly Used the Domestic Abuse Twitter Campaign #WhyIStayed to Promote Their Pizza | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
This is just another cautionary tale for any companies on Twitter. Always, always think before yo...
Ellie Carrow's insight:

The DiGiorno Pizza twitter account caused quite a controversy for the brand recently after misusing a hashtag on twitter. As a result of the Ray Rice situation and the video of him knocking out his wife becoming more public, many different media platforms have taken to raising awareness of what an issue domestic abuse is, expressing sympathy for the victims, and relaying that it needs to end. Twitter initiated a campaign on the topic, in which many domestic abuse victims shared their stories and struggles with the public using the hashtags: #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft. Not fully understanding what exactly the hashtag was, but only knowing that it was trending, DiGiorno Pizza’s account used the hashtag in a very light-hearted tweet reading: “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.” It was an honest mistake, and the brand took the tweet down as soon as they realized the mistake, but not before many people, supporters and victims alike, became very upset and outraged by the use of the hashtag. DiGiorno has since taken action by personally responding via sending individual tweets to those offended by the incident and a rep for the company make the following statement to E! News: "This tweet was a mistake, quickly realized as such and deleted seconds later. Our community manager—and the entire DiGiorno team—is truly sorry. The tweet does not reflect our values and we've been personally responding to everyone who has engaged with us on social media. We apologize."

This incident with DiGiorno really shows the importance that being informed and doing research before you write is key. Had they taken some extra time to see what the hashtag was being used for before posting their tweet, they could have avoiding looking like an in sensitive company by the public. I do not blame them completely for what happened, mistakes do happen, we are all human beings, and they had no intention of making light of a serious issue. I do believe though, that had they done the little extra research, this situation could have been easily avoided. It just goes to show how careful one must be when posting on social media. DiGiorno shows genuine remorse for posting the tweet and has been directly apologizing to those offended, and to the general public. Other than apologizing profusely for the tweet, there is not much more they are doing, and I do not think there is much more they can do besides using more caution when posting in the future. How DiGiorno is handling the situation is a key example of Benoit’s image restoration strategy of mortification. Mortification is used when a client or company simply admits that they are responsible for what went wrong and that they are very sorry. DiGiorno has also utilized the strategy of corrective action by directly apologizing to the offended, and can continue to utilize this strategy by preventing a situation like this from happening again. I believe that the mortification and corrective action strategies are really the only ones DiGiorno can use in this situation and that the company is doing all that they can do right now.

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Ravens leadership flunks public relations test by not speaking - Baltimore Sun

Ravens leadership flunks public relations test by not speaking - Baltimore Sun | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
Newstalk 106-108 fm Ravens leadership flunks public relations test by not speaking Baltimore Sun The owner should also try to explain the numerous public relations mistakes made by his team involving Rice since the domestic abuse incident in...
Ellie Carrow's insight:

Many people are now familiar with the Ray Rice scandal and have seen the recently released video of him punching and knocking out his wife, and then dragging her out of an elevator. Though the scandal has caused issues for Rice personally, it has also caused his former team, The Baltimore Ravens, quite a bit of trouble as well. The Ravens officially terminated Rice’s contract on September 8, but related that information to the public in a very poor manner. In a situation in which public and media should have heard from the primary decision makers (namely, owner Steve Biscotti, president Dick Crass, and general manager Ozzie Newsome) they instead heard from a “smug” head coach, John Harbaugh, who was being very evasive when it came to answering questions. Biscotti, Crass, and Newsome were not even at the news conference, and with the manner in which Harbaugh was relating information to the media, it gave off the vibe that the franchise is hiding something and not informing the public of what they actually know. Questions that were raised include why the team did not punish Rice separately from the NFL and whether or not the team had seen the video footage before, and if so, why were they content with the NFL’s two-game suspension.

 

This article reminded me of the importance of companies being straightforward with the public and communicating pro-actively during a crisis. When the leaders and head decision makers for a business or franchise, communicate with the public in tough times, it adds to the business’s credibility and relays the sense that they are being open with the public and are not trying to hide anything. We see in the Tylenol crisis case management that open communication is key to having your company represented in a good light, even in a crisis. Crisis management for the Tylenol incident was not just handled by a team of employees, but the CEO of Johnson and Johnson himself, James Burke, even got involved and communicated directly with the public through appearances on 60 minutes and the Donohue show. Yes, the situations are quite different, but Burke’s communication with the media helped ease the public. As opposed to the Ravens handling of the Ray Rice situation in which the main communicator was the head couch while the owner (who had the final say on cutting Rice from the team), president, and general manager did not even show up at the news conference. I am not saying that the Ravens franchise leaders needed to schedule to be on talk shows or anything or the sort, but I believe had they at least showed up to the news conference and given a brief statement, that would have placed them in a much better light than where they are now.

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Crash Course In Crisis Public Relations

Crash Course In Crisis Public Relations | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
How to contain the problem before it does any real damage.
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Tweeting At Buzzfeed And Other Don'ts Of Indie Comics PR 101 ...

Tweeting At Buzzfeed And Other Don'ts Of Indie Comics PR 101 ... | Public Relations Crises | Scoop.it
“What not to do in Indie PR,” quickly developed as a sidestep in an otherwise constructive Indie Comics Marketing PR and Marketing 101 panel at this year's San Diego Comic Con and only came as a result of Comixology's ...
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