Tagged 'crisis communications'

Adding Paid Media to Earned and Owned for Unpredictable Breaking News

Posted by John Mracek on June 11th, 2013 at 9:00 am

In today's world of non-stop reportage, social journalism, and grab-and-go newsfeeds, brands need to respond to breaking news quickly. Financial firms likely have a vested interest in an economy threatening to fall off a cliff, while a home furnishings company may want a voice around sudden news of housing-market improvements. Traditionally, this type of responsiveness has been the domain of brands’ owned and earned media channels to get a message out quickly.
But the rise in real-time ad buying has created a new opportunity for brands to own their destiny in the face of unpredictable news and events. As a result, there are now paid-media opportunities to add to your marketing arsenal.
For example, let’s say you lead an airline brand and a competitor is under fire for repeated mechanical issues and associated delays. This provides the perfect opportunity to proactively message your own carrier’s investment in the newest fleet of planes, or highlight a positive track-record of on-time arrivals as a counterpoint to your competitor’s negative press. Or, should a massive heatwave suddenly hit the headlines, it’s a natural fit if you market sunscreen, air conditioners or convertibles. There are endless examples of cases in which a brand could benefit from... Read more

When Crisis Communications Bleeds Into Community Support

Posted by Adam Leiter on April 3rd, 2013 at 7:07 am

The recent battle of claims and data between Elon Musk/Tesla and the New York Times showcases a unique crisis communications situation. What's the best way to handle a crisis of "he said-they said" before it spirals out of control?
At some point in their career, every communications professional needs to handle at least a few crisis situations on behalf of a client. All things being relative - whether it’s a disaster like the BP oil spill, a trolling commenter on your brand’s Facebook page, or an executive giving out embargoed information too early – the way you initially respond will set the tone for everything that follows. It’s all about being prepared to the best degree, and then maintaining as much control as possible.
But in some cases, keeping a loose grip on that control and relying on trusted advocates to speak on your behalf can be more effective than any prepared statement.
An example of this recently played out between Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk and the New York Times. When Musk went on the attack against a negative review of the company’s East Coast charging station, first via social media, then by blog, and eventually (perpetually?) even further, his response quickly incited a crisis spiral.... Read more

Newsjack(ass)ing: PR Fail in the Wake of Tragedy and Crisis

Posted by Amy Kauffman on October 30th, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Like what you read? Want to stay in touch? Follow me on Twitter: @amykauffman or shoot me an email at amy(at)hmgcreative.com

Homeless Hotspots' Good Intentions Can't Stop Crisis Communications

Posted by Jennifer Bilotta on March 15th, 2012 at 6:30 am

"Homeless Hotspots" at SXSW brought up an issue that many well-intentioned campaigns encounter...when your intended conversation goes off-track and causes the need for crisis communications.
You may have heard about the Homeless Hotspots at SXSW Interactive...where an agency armed 13 homeless people in Austin with MiFi devices and T-shirts that read “I’m a 4G hotspot.” Handouts encouraged SXSW attendees to look for the hotspots (er, people) stationed around the city and were encouraged to “Introduce yourself, then log on to their 4G network via your phone or tablet for a quick high-quality connection."
Users of the hot spot connections were asked to donate $2 per 15 minutes of use to their hotspot host who kept 100% of the cash or payment made via PayPal. Each of the individuals was also paid $50/day for a maximum six hour shift. The agency worked with an Austin homeless shelter and said it was all part of an effort to make homeless people more visible and raise awareness of the issue, which was being discussed at SXSW.
Critics contend that rather than empowering and dignifying the homeless people involved, the campaign objectified and demeaned them. Since the project is not a sustainable solution to income for the homeless, and... Read more

Santorum’s Google Bomb – A Lesson In Digital Crisis 101

Posted by Adam Leiter on February 1st, 2012 at 9:38 am

What do businesses and brands have to learn from the Santorum/Savage “Google Problem”? Unwanted search results will always be alive online, and it takes an active approach to keep them managed as much as possible. With the right tactics, it’s possible to minimize reputational threats, but simply complaining about them will not find a resolution.
(Author’s note, this post is not meant to advocate for one political party or any single politician vs. another.)
Without getting into the frothy details (which you can find out about through the article links that follow in this post), Rick Santorum has become a high profile example of a common problem for many brands, businesses, and business leaders dealing with unfavorable search results that stray WAY off-message. Essentially, the candidate is dealing with a competitive attack page aimed at undermining his campaign and throwing a wrench in his own messaging.
What Santorum has NOT been doing over the past 8 years of the existence of columnist Dan Savage’s rogue page, is deal with it by creating more relevant content and employing even basic SEO tactics. Instead he has protested to Google (no word if he has also complained to Bing) to remove the page in question from its search rankings. ... Read more