Superstorm Sandy: Immediate Approaches to Consider

Sandy photo, NASACorporate communicators may be wondering how to support either emergency communications to employees/customers, or humanitarian efforts in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Here’s a quick list of top approaches to consider:


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3 Categories of Social Media Risk

Are there particular industries or companies that attract a larger portion of “social media risk” than others?

A colleague of mine recently asked that question and I thought I would share a version of my response.

Rather than focus on vertical industries or specific brands/companies, it might be more instructive to look at three different categories of the types of anger or scrutiny that can snowball when pushed downhill by digitally networked communities. Here are three that I see regularly:

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Headwinds: Correcting the Record on Broadcast News

“First, admit you’ve made a mistake.”

This is one of the axioms that crisis management hawks, magpies, peacocks and parrots typically offer when capitalizing on the latest crisis du jour.   Often, these pundits flock to broadcast media to provide requisite talking-head “expert opinion” that helps to legitimize a common media storyline – that a company is bungling its crisis management response by resisting a public apology and acknowledging a mistake.

The irony here is thick, because much of broadcast media itself does not live up to that axiom.

Check out this excellent article in The New York Times, where David Carr deftly draws a distinction between correction approaches of print vs. broadcast media that distort or misreport a story.  Although print media does a slightly better job of correcting the record, his report acknowledges significantly heavier headwinds when broadcast media misrepresents the facts during a crisis situation.

Why?  Here’s a key callout:


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Reputation pitfalls of demand-based journalism


A Ketchum colleague recently shared this post from the Chief Product Officer of Forbes Media.  In it, she describes the Forbes new model of “Entrepreneurial Journalism,” where freelance writers are paid by the size of the audience they attract.

I’m a loyal Forbes subscriber, but I’m disappointed with the direction here.  I believe this will have negative implications for crisis management.

Why?  Several reasons:

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Prize-rigging can undermine online promotions

There is a growing industry of “prize-riggers” (my term) who band together to manipulate the results of online contests, giveaways and sweepstakes.

In this blog post on PRSAY, the official blog of The Public Relations Society of America, I categorize different types of prize-riggers and offer tips for PR pros to consider.

Go to the link and check it out.  And if you have comments, you can share them there or below.


Crisis management. Communications coaching.