Last week, Epic PR received an urgent call from a client regarding an explosion that took place in their company’s facility. Emergency personnel were en route (five fire trucks) and the entire building block had been safely evacuated with no reported injuries or fatalities. The CEO and lead spokesperson was in Europe unreachable at the time, and the company’s staff were still absorbing what had just happened. Who you gonna call? Your public relations consultant, of course!
A company’s PR agency is often at the top of the list, particularly when there is a good chance that the media will show-up, bystanders are already taking photos and video footage with their iPhones (likely destined for social media channels), and key stakeholders are asking you questions that you’re unable to answer just yet.
Most issues have two sides where detractors or naysayers will challenge your point of view – often out in the open. In a news story, the media strive to create balanced stories or use ‘conflict’ as a news hook so they will often include comment from critics.
Here are some tips on how to deal with detractors:
- Identify who they are and do your research on them so that you know who you’re dealing with and why. Often people are simply misinformed and they may have misunderstandings about what you’re doing. What do they know and how much do they know? Is it accurate or inaccurate?
- It’s easier to rebut their criticism pre-emptively in your key messages. This is best done by not leaving gaps in your messages. Continue reading
I have been meaning to blog about the recent Tiger Woods and David Letterman affairs / sex scandals that made headline news recently. By chance, today I read a guest column in the Globe & Mail written by a fellow PR industry colleague that concisely summed up my thoughts on the two incidents so I wanted to share it with you. The brief analysis of the two gentlemen are excellent case study examples that compare and contrast what not to do and what TO DO when your personal or corporate reputation is at risk. Rather than write a similar blog post, I’d like to direct you to her commentary here.
In the event this link dies in the near future (this often happens with newspaper websites), I have cut and pasted the story below for you. One thing is for certain after the Tiger debacle, I no longer think golf is boring!
Small business lessons from Tiger Woods
Originally published on Thurs Jan. 14, 2010 8:26AM EST
Written by: Mia Wedgbury, president and co-founder of High Road Communications, headquartered in Toronto.
Have you had your fill of the Tiger Woods story yet? If not, you’re in luck. It continues to pop up in the news cycle even after all these weeks. Continue reading
Stork Craft, a Vancouver-area manufacturer of baby cribs, recalled more than 2 million drop-side cribs in North America earlier this week – the largest crib recall in history. The recall was issued because the drop-side of the cribs can become detached in one or more corners resulting in babies and toddlers getting pegged underneath.
Numerous accidents have been reported including four babies dying, 15 infants getting trapped, and 20 babies falling from the cribs with injuries ranging from bumps and bruises to concussions.
Health Canada’s website directed parents to the manufacturer’s website and toll-free number, while the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission information line issued a general voice recording of recall information with nothing substantive on the crib recall.
Stork Craft defended its manufacturing, saying its cribs have met or exceeded all Canadian and US standards and issued the following statement:
“In the majority of incidents, the cribs were being used with broken parts, parts with pieces missing, parts that were damaged or with modified or homemade parts…In some incidents, the crib was in a state of significant disrepair. In other cases, the consumer had installed the drop-side rail upside down — contrary to the instructions that are glued to the mattress base of each crib. This causes extraordinary stress on the plastic parts that could result in breakage.”
The company is offering replacement kits and brackets for crib that includes assembly instructions accompanied with a YouTube video.
This is not Stork Craft’s first safety and product recall so it surprises me that the company did a poor job handling the latest issue this week. The company made several PR blunders. Continue reading