presents


            Using PR to Protect Brands:
Crisis Communications Vets Share Proven Regimens
        for Defending ...
Welcome to PR University’s audio conference
         “Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share Proven ...
Audio Conference Worksheet
   Andrea Rader, Director, Corporate Communications, US Airways
   US Airways
   111 W. Rio Sal...
Audio Conference Worksheet continued
   Mary Beth Halprin, Senior Manager, Corporation Communications, Chrysler
   Chrysle...
Audio Conference Worksheet continued
   Albert J. Tortorella, Director, Crisis Management, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwi...
Audio Conference Worksheet continued
   Michael Fineman, President, Creative Director, Fineman PR
   Fineman PR
   330 Tow...
Audio Conference Worksheet continued
   1. Common Scenarios: Types of Crises Facing Clients and Companies
   _____________...
Audio Conference Worksheet continued
   5. New Media, New Challenges: Coping with Crises in a Web 2.0 World
   ___________...
Bonus: Practical Reports from
                                                   the Archives of Bulldog Reporter
   Stead...
What might you do better or differently in the                                                            early on not to ...
company, and real compensation for inconvenienced                                                         was not recoveri...
practice your response. Talk with your leaders about it,                                                  After all that, ...
entire company is relying on your team to manage the                                                      brands and perso...
What's "wrong" with crisis communications as we                                                           or "promotional"...
leaks and commodity trading fraud. And don't confuse                                                      consumers contro...
without seeing another Martha headline.                                                                   for those three ...
imagine CNN's Wolf Blitzer standing over his                                                                  Naturally, s...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...

6,261 views

Published on

0 Comments
2 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
6,261
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
103
Comments
0
Likes
2
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share ...

  1. 1. presents Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share Proven Regimens for Defending Brands Online and Off Wednesday, November 14, 2007 1:00PM EST/12:00PM CST/11:00AM MST/10:00AM PST • Andrea Rader, Director, Corporate Communications, US Airways Featuring • Mary Beth Halprin, Senior Manager, Corporation Communications, • Albert J. Tortorella, Director, Crisis Management, Chrysler • Michael Fineman, President, Creative Director, Fineman PR Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide 2007 Infocom Group
  2. 2. Welcome to PR University’s audio conference “Using PR to Protect Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share Proven Regimens for Defending Brands Online and Off” Thank you for participating in “Using PR to Protect • Speaker bios and verified contact information Brands: Crisis Communications Vets Share Proven • Value-added articles on today’s topics from the Regimens for Defending Brands Online and Off.” archives of Bulldog Reporter This conference manual contains important information to help ensure that you receive How to Submit Questions to the Panel maximum value from today’s PR University You have two options for submitting questions to training session. today’s panel: 1. At any time before or during the conference, Conference Details and you can send a question by email to Dial-in Information bulldogreporter@yahoo.com. Please put some or Date and Time: all of your question in the Subject Line of your email. Wednesday, November 14, 2007 2. During the last portion of the conference, we 1:00pm EST, 12:00pm CST, 11:00am MST, and will open the lines for a live Q&A session. When 10:00am PST you hear your company name called by the The conference will last 90 minutes. moderator, your line will be made “live” and you’ll be able to interact with the panel. If you’ve muted Dial-in Information your line during the call, be sure to UNMUTE your Call 866-802-7443, 5 -10 minutes prior to phone so you can ask your question. conference start time. Your Moderator You will be greeted by an Operator who will confirm your registration and enter you into the Brian Pittman is director of content for Bulldog call. Reporter’s PR University and the weekly email newsletter Journalists Speak Out. Previously, You will hear music on hold until the conference Brian served as editorial director at Infocom is started, or be connected directly to the Group, where he edited, reported for and conference if it has already begun. launched titles such as Media Relations Insider, During the conference, you will be in listen-only PR Agency Insider, Ad Agency Insider and mode, until such time as you are enabled to ask Managing Partner. Prior to that, he served as questions. The conference operator will provide Editor of Utah Business magazine, among other directions for asking live questions during the titles. He is a seasoned reporter with extensive call. experience interviewing such personalities as Steve Forbes, Bob Edwards and Margaret About Your Conference Manual Thatcher. To help you make full use of this PR University Brian’s contact information: audio conference, we have prepared a customized (805) 984-2977 conference manual containing: • An Audio Conference Worksheet with written bpittman@infocomgroup.com www.bulldogreporter.com information about the topic and ample room for you to take notes and create your own customized take-away materials ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 1
  3. 3. Audio Conference Worksheet Andrea Rader, Director, Corporate Communications, US Airways US Airways 111 W. Rio Salado Parkway Tempe, AZ 85281 (480) 693-5729 andrea.rader@usairways.com Andrea Rader joined US Airways as director, corporate communications, in April 2006, overseeing the airline’s media relations, internal communications and emergency communications. Andrea joined US Airways from Wal-Mart where she worked in executive communications as a speechwriter at the retailer’s corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. Prior to her position at Wal-Mart, Andrea spent 14 years (1990-2004) at American Airlines in Fort Worth, Texas. She also worked as a reporter/editor with the Associated Press for 11 years in the Columbus, Ohio, Washington DC and Dallas bureaus. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ continued on next page ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 2
  4. 4. Audio Conference Worksheet continued Mary Beth Halprin, Senior Manager, Corporation Communications, Chrysler Chrysler 1000 Chrysler Drive 485-06-55 Auburn Hills, MI 48326 (248) 512-2658 (248) 512-1756 fax mh166@chrysler.com Mary Beth Halprin is the senior manager of corporation communications at Chrysler. During her time at Chrysler, she has been involved with a number of high-profile media issues, including September 11’s impact on the auto industry and a number of manufacturing related crises, among others. Currently, she oversees communications for Chrysler’s recovery and transformation plan, and aspects of the organization’s information technology. Previously, Mary Beth worked at Chrysler overseeing manufacturing and labor, procurement and supply, financial, M&A communications and broadcast communications. Additionally, she acted as Chrysler’s corporate communications spokesperson in Europe. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ continued on next page ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 3
  5. 5. Audio Conference Worksheet continued Albert J. Tortorella, Director, Crisis Management, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide 9100 Wilshire Blvd. 6th floor West Tower Beverly Hills, California 90212 (310) 248-6136 albert.tortorella@ogilvypr.com Albert Tortorella is director of crisis management at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. He brings more than 25 years of corporate and crisis management experience to the company. Since representing Tylenol during its national recall in 1982, as a result of consumer deaths from product tampering, he has developed an international reputation as an expert on crisis management and media, advising some of the world’s largest companies in dealing with sensitive public issues. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ continued on next page ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 4
  6. 6. Audio Conference Worksheet continued Michael Fineman, President, Creative Director, Fineman PR Fineman PR 330 Townsend St., Ste. 119 San Francisco, CA 94107 (415) 392-1000, ext. 21 (415) 392-1099, fax www.finemanpr.com Michael Fineman directs Fineman PR in creating and implementing award-winning programs that have consistently met and surpassed client objectives. He is nationally recognized for brand building, creative and strategic counsel and programs, and crisis management success. Michael started his agency 13 years ago, initially serving professional service organizations, technology, real estate and other b-to-b accounts. Michael’s crisis management experience for Pacifica Foundation/KPFA, Odwalla and general contractors and construction equipment manufacturers has been honored with national awards. Michael coined the term “Brand PR” in 1995 to help marketers, brand managers, entrepreneurs and other high level executives understand how effective public relations can build brand equity. Michael produces the Annual PR Blunders List, which is published in newspapers nationwide to help the business community understand the concept of good vs. bad public relations. ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ continued on next page ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 5
  7. 7. Audio Conference Worksheet continued 1. Common Scenarios: Types of Crises Facing Clients and Companies ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Preemptive Planning: How to Orchestrate Vulnerability Assessments & Crisis Audits ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Essential Components of Effective Crisis Communications Plans ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Checklist: What to Do in the First 48 Hours of Any Crisis ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 6
  8. 8. Audio Conference Worksheet continued 5. New Media, New Challenges: Coping with Crises in a Web 2.0 World ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ 6. Best and Worst Practices: Lessons and Recent Case Studies ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ 7. Action Items & Additional Resources ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 7
  9. 9. Bonus: Practical Reports from the Archives of Bulldog Reporter Steady as She Goes: JetBlue's and excellent SWAT team assistance, we will lose the news cycle, rendering us unable to assist our company. Dervin Climbs from Crisis Mode to We also benefited from an extremely strong Share Hard-Won Advice company discipline to send all media calls to us for Brian Pittman’s spotlight: Jenny Dervin, Director of centralized messaging. We have 50 cities, and I think Corporate Communications, JetBlue Airways it's fair to say that every city had a news crew show up How would you react to a company-wide meltdown? at the ticket counter over the course of this event. Would you keep your cool? Would you or your crisis Every single city held true to our request to not plan (yes, that dusty tome at the bottom of your filing comment on camera or for the record. They were cabinet) hold up under fire? asked to kindly refer media to us, and to provide, not for attribution, the information they had available. You're not alone if these thoughts keep you awake at They also informed media that while they had some night. We all wonder how we'd perform under such information, they did not have the very latest, and that pressure. Most of us, thankfully, never find out. CorpComm would be their best source. Yet Jenny Dervin is not one of the untested. Not I am uncomfortable "grading" our effectiveness. anymore. Neither is her team. As director of corporate That's really up to the media we served. I can tell you communications for JetBlue Airways, she helped lead that for the first time ever in my career, and in the her staff through what some in PR are already calling a lifetime of PR people that I know and respect, media case-book study in crisis response when the airline questions today almost exclusively centered around a experienced unprecedented flight delays brought on by theme never heard before: When are you guys going to extreme weather the week before last—delays that saw shut up? I took great delight in asking our reporters to customers grounded onboard for hours, and which please note date, time and place in their diaries—the culminated in what the company dubbed the "worst media were asking US to STOP communicating! You operational week in JetBlue's seven year history," can take what you will from that data point, but I will punctuated by a last-minute delisting from give you another: Over the course of the last week, BusinessWeek's ranking of top 25 customer service nearly every reporter we spoke with ended the call with firms. a sincere "Thank you for being so up-front with "We are on fire over here—every email and call gets information. You answered every question straight- immediate attention," Dervin related in an email forward." Whoa. exchange with Bulldog Reporter as operations began to So I'll leave it up to our reporters to grade our stabilize and JetBlue released its customer "Bill of performance, but from a personal perspective, I am Rights." "We have to buy a case of eye drops for the humbled and honored to work with the people I do. team! We're doing well—we are now hopefully re- Our CorpComm team is extremely small for a entering normal mode," she wrote. company our size. We do not have an agency-of-record, Here she revisits the pivotal moments of a week and we have no intention of hiring an agency. It's not she'd likely rather forget, discusses the importance of about cost control it's about our company's leadership. having a corporate crisis communications plan in You don't need a third party telling you what you place—and offers detailed, hard-won advice for should do when your leadership is incredibly aligned, stepping up and delivering when it counts most: and when you can trust their instinct as much as you trust your own. We met our own high expectations, and How do you think JetBlue and your team responded frankly, we did more individually and collectively than overall; what grade would you give yourselves? we ever thought was possible. I think the motivation I think we held true to our mission as new-age PR was our love of the company. I know it sounds people, and that is, to answer every inquiry, whether it schmaltzy and fake—but it's true. We love each other came through the hotline or email, immediately. We and we were willing to follow our leader Todd Burke to live in a Web 2.0 world, with deadlines every five hell and back. minutes. If we aren't staffed with capable professionals ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 8
  10. 10. What might you do better or differently in the early on not to prioritize inbound media calls. In order future? to handle the volume, we "recruited" (aka, "stole") We have been reviewing customer response in crewmembers from Marketing and other departments blogs, online media comment boards and responses to to help us in the media room. Our media room is our direct email campaign, as well as unsolicited adjacent to our Emergency Command Center, where advice from several PR agencies that felt the need to Todd Burke was stationed during the day, and I smack us when we were down, and as much as it hurt handled the overnight shift. Our managers, Bryan to read some of this input, we learned a few things. Baldwin and Alison Eshelman, were responsible for If there is a next time, we will activate our web to finding capable people, briefing them, and directing emergency/crisis mode, clearing the home page and media calls appropriately. We had morning briefing providing more information up front. We used a web sheets for the team, and we used the white boards in application that makes customers click to a page for the media room to keep a running tally of information information. We normally use this application for reporters were constantly asking for—things like, "How garden-variety weather advisories, and in retrospect, we many flights have you cancelled today?" and "What should have kicked into full emergency mode Friday does the operation look like tomorrow?" night, when the operation simply fell apart. For reporters with whom we have established Other than that, I really can't point to anything that relationships, we reached out several times to see if didn't perform exactly to our crisis plan specifications. there was anything they needed from the company. A We had a full staff answering media inbound calls; we result of this was the coverage in The New York Times, stole people from Marketing and other departments to which scored several exclusives based on their ability to help us answer inbound calls; we had our leader Todd get customer stories other outlets did not get. We run our CEO's media schedule; and we had our honored the integrity they exhibited in handling these internal comms manager ensure that the company was sensitive stories, including a report of a near-riot at JFK kept informed from a single source (our intranet and on Friday night, by making our CEO available to them via email). We experienced brand new wrinkles, such early and often. Our openness was rewarded with fair as media camped outside our terminal at JFK for days and balanced reporting. on end, and we dealt with those contingencies We also created a proactive media list for our cities perfectly, in my opinion. affected by the suspension of service over the weekend. The news media may not agree.We denied access to We blanketed those 11 markets with at least two our "house" at JFK for two-and-a-half days while we outreach communications to advise what was handled thousands of customers and more than 2,500 happening, and the resources available to them should misplaced bags.They were not happy about that, but they have any questions. we opened the terminal up again for live remotes and We also issued several press releases that other B-roll filming as quickly as possible, when we could companies would probably blanch at issuing, but we confidently ensure that the news crews wouldn't needed our local media to help us get the word out to interfere with the airport operation and flow of our customers than operational disruption continued, customers.We instituted a brand new policy of pre- and the policies in place to compensate them for the approving news crews to film inside the house with a disruption. Our call center was overwhelmed with password that we shared with our security inbound calls, while also attempting to call customers, crewmembers.(Security was also authorized to approve so the more our customers knew before they called or decline news crews who did not have the password, really helped the call volume. based on their hard-earned experience over the prior days on who would abide by the rules and who Whose idea was the "Bill of Rights"? What was the wouldn't.)We have reports of news crews and reporters thinking behind that? who did not have the password, and our security The "Bill of Rights" was entirely and exclusively our crewmembers kindly escorted them off property Founder and CEO's idea. David Neeleman worked because they were disturbing our customers and tirelessly the first three days of the event in our System interfering with the operation. Operations center, gaining expertise in the areas where the company failed its customers and crewmembers. How did you prioritize media calls—how would you On Sunday night, he called a meeting of the entire describe the resulting coverage? leadership team to advise them we would issue a This event was of such proportion that we decided "Customer Bill of Rights" that had real penalties for the ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 9
  11. 11. company, and real compensation for inconvenienced was not recovering, we consulted again with leadership customers, should a self-inflicted disruption of this kind to expand the rebooking window to May 22. The ever happen again. He also directed the officers to history of the company's decisions is detailed on our immediately correct five key areas that he found to be press release site here, so I won't go into tedious detail. lacking, in order to ensure that even if we faced a At every step of the way, CorpComm was alongside blizzard the next day, we would be better prepared to leadership, taking direction from our leaders and serve our customers. inputting our advice as needed on both the internal and external communications strategy. Our VP, Todd How'd your CEO do? What made him particularly Burke, recommended a pro-active media strategy to our suited for dealing with this crisis? CEO, and David Neeleman made the television and Wow ... I want to say that I'm speechless when it print rounds on Friday, when we thought we would be comes to David Neeleman, but words do NOT fail me. ahead of the event. Being out in front of cameras and David was tireless in examining the operation, directly reporters was the right decision, and we unfortunately from the nerve center of the airline, for the first three had to repeat and expand the strategy on Tuesday of days of the event. We also activated him for media on this week, when we were assured that we would be Friday morning, before the real meltdown happened at back at 100% operations, and that most of the JFK Friday night. Starting Saturday, he began assigning mishandled baggage would be processed within 24 teams to specific areas of need, including contacting hours. flight crews (pilots and flight attendants) to build a database of those available for reassignment. On We activated our media room Friday night/Saturday Sunday, he directed his leadership team on specific morning. I know I was on an operations and leadership actions needing attention and action immediately, and conference call at 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning, and by told us he was going to announce a "Bill of Rights" on 8:00 a.m., our entire team was in place and fielding Tuesday, so we better get it done, with real penalties to inbound calls. JetBlue and real and meaningful compensation for our We are fortunate that our leadership trusts us customers. immensely, and our advise is heard and incorporated As our leadership team worked the assignments on into the overall response plan. Monday, we video-taped a message from David to our crewmembers, which aired on our intranet. We also Would you say JetBlue's PR team enjoys a "seat at videotaped a customer message introducing key the table"? If so, what's your advice to others for provisions of the "Bill of Rights." The internal message getting there, as well? was published immediately, and our customer video We absolutely have a seat at the table. We consulted was posted on jetblue.com and YouTube that evening, our CEO on the proactive media strategies for both once we had the near-final document. Friday morning and Tuesday (full day), and our CEO approved all of our ideas. I believe he set a record for When was the PR team first approached for counsel most interviews in a single day on Tuesday. (Live on this crisis? appearances on the "Today Show," "CNN American This was a slow-burn crisis. We were well aware of a Morning," "FOX and Friends," CNBC; and taped weather system approaching New York and the interviews with network ABC, NBC, NY1 and local Northeast. We published a press release Wednesday, CBS. He also appeared on "The Late Show with David February 14, announcing a waiver policy for anyone Letterman" that evening.) Is that a record? I would booked to travel to or via the Northeast that day. When really like to know! we learned of the exceedingly long ground delays nine So how do you get a seat at the table? Three pieces of our flights experienced, we consulted with of advice: First: Pick the right company to work for. leadership and published a corporate statement Service industry companies should have a high acknowledging and apologizing for the seven-plus expectation of their CorpComm teams—so that's a hours some of our customers experienced trapped on a good place to start. Second: You better be good at what plane. you do OUTSIDE of a crisis. Build strong relationships On February 15, we consulted with leadership on a with your internal clients, and prove you speak their new rebooking policy. We issued two releases that day; language and can get their message out. Third: Plan the first release expanded the rebooking window to the work and work the plan. Game theory the worst March 20. When CorpComm saw that the operation that can happen to your company's reputation, and ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 10
  12. 12. practice your response. Talk with your leaders about it, After all that, what do you love about the practice of and get a gut feeling on how they would likely respond. PR? Would they want to run and hide? Convince them I love that PR makes a difference. Actually, I prefer otherwise BEFORE the crisis hits. saying "CorpComm" or Corporate Communications because PR is exclusive to the external audience. What were the worst parts of the week—and the CorpComm is responsible for internal as well as best parts, if there were any? external audiences. Ahhhhhh … I love that CorpComm is all about crafting the story. The worst part of the week was Saturday, when it We advise our clients what story we want to tell. If they looked hopeless that we would recover the operation, agree, they make real policy decisions to support our and that the meltdown the night before might damage goal, often inspired by our proposed storyline to think our reputation forever. We had scheduled a ~75% of creative alternatives or to minimize potential operation for Friday, and it completely fell apart. We downsides that we have identified. When we have to should have been able to run the operation. We were report the facts, we do so without spin or not immune to the frustration and downright anger our embellishment. We are an example of integrity to our crewmembers and customers felt that day, but we peers. huddled and told each other, "We have a job to do. Let's get it done." Because we did not have data to What crisis tips and lessons are you now able to show that we had control of the situation, we were share with other PR people? open and honest with media, telling them exactly what On the serious side: Have a CorpComm leadership we knew, when we knew it. We also communicated structure that is in tune with each other on a deep and our company's recovery plan, which included the personal level. The last thing you want is to second- drastic and unprecedented action of completely guess your decisions if you think the boss won't agree. suspending service to 11 cities in order to help reset the You can get there by hosting table-top exercises, operation. gaming various worst-case scenarios. If you don't have a The best part of the week ... That's a little harder to good vibe with your leadership, you better work for a pinpoint. We all experienced moments of pure love for tyrant micro-manager so you won't get a chance to each other, just for the simple fact that in a moment of make a mistake. And who wants that? true crisis, everyone was eager to get into the deepest Ask for more than you think people can give. When darkest corner and work their way out. I absolutely you have a great team around you, everyone wants to hated calling our manager Alison back from Vermont pull more than their weight in order to alleviate the in order to staff the media room. Even though she work load on their colleagues. Encourage people to drove 4.5 hours to Vermont early Friday evening, and take care of themselves, but don't "send" anyone home. drove back overnight, she was there Saturday, tired and (True pros will go home when they need to, and they'll without a proper briefing, fielding media calls. Bryan make sure the work is covered.) Not being part of the worked around the clock, and made sure the media experience that you can all share later as a bonding coming to our headquarters was cared for and placed moment is a HUGE mistake. When you're in crisis in five different offices so our CEO could move mode, the world stops. Alison said it best: "I was at seamlessly from interview to interview. Sebastian is our dinner last night, and I looked around at the people in only intranet manager—he had absolutely no back up. the restaurant, and I thought, 'What world do they live He was awake for five days straight, making sure our in?' I had nothing in common with anyone there— crewmembers had the right information at the right they all got up and went to work today like it was a time. Morgan, our video services producer, recorded normal day." and turned the video messages from David in record True professionals will tap into resources they didn't time. It's a miracle his equipment didn't burn out from know they had in order to be part of something bigger the speed production. Todd kept us all together and than themselves. The gratification of knowing you made sure we didn't burn out while he developed the made a real difference is worth more than money or overall strategy and executed huge portions of it kudos. himself. The funny thing is that no one wanted to leave—it was almost like we felt guilty for needing Be kind to each other. The adrenaline will have to sleep or a shower. leave your body at some point. You are the traffic cop of all information, overwhelming at times, and the ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 11
  13. 13. entire company is relying on your team to manage the brands and personalities in the pharmaceuticals, reputation and re-build trust in your product. This is petrochemical and entertainment sectors. your moment to shine, and you inevitably do. But the "This is important because you now have everybody crash comes, and it is hard. How does that old song go? upholding the 'instant recall.' But it's unrealistic "You always hurt the ones you love." Let the blow-ups because companies would constantly be in recall mode and meltdowns happen, and never mention it to the if they were to follow that line of thinking," explains person again unless they bring it up. Reward the team Dezenhall, whose recently released Damage Control: with meaningful things—make sure senior leadership Why Everything You Know about Crisis Management is knows what they're doing without bragging or Wrong advances similar claims and more. martyrdom. No one likes a martyr. The old PR saying applies: No heroes, no martyrs. "Another reason this is a bad model is nobody was blaming Johnson & Johnson for poisoning people," On the not-so-serious but still kinda-serious side: Dezenhall continues. "Everyone understood there was Have a toothbrush and deodorant at the office. a madman on the loose and the company was a victim. ALWAYS. (Febreeze helps, too.) You get a little stinky It's easier to get out of a crisis in such 'sniper crises.' working around the clock for five days, and you don't Far more common are 'character crises,' where the want to be distracted thinking that your colleagues are company is the villain. Those are harder to manage." offended by your odor. And it feels good to have clean teeth. In addition: "There was also a very easy action you could take if you didn't want to die during the Tylenol Walk away. Take 15 minutes if that's all you get. scare. You threw out your Tylenol. But imagine telling There's no such thing as, "I can't take a 15 minute a woman with breast implants to take them out," break right now," unless you've just taken one. If that's Dezenhall posits. "Imagine telling someone who the case, and you need more time, you better take it so bought a $40,000 SUV to take it back. Ridiculous. You you can be effective later. Again—don't be a hero. can't. So the Tylenol case was a relative storm of very Know your limits and stick to them. easy actions and scenarios that shouldn't be held up for Finally, keep a sense of humor. I include in this today's practitioners," he reiterates. "It's not the model category the life skill of knowing that the crisis is not we should be following—just as Calamine lotion isn't happening TO YOU, but you are the solution. the antidote to diabetes. It's the wrong set of 'solutions' for managing the types of crises most of us face." This article appeared in Read on for more of Dezenhall's controversial take Bulldog Reporter’s Daily ‘Dog. on this sacred cow of crisis communications, his For more information go to assessment of JetBlue's recent crisis response—and his www.bulldogreporter.com/dailydog. sometimes surprising "new rules" of practicing PR in an increasingly adversarial age: Damage Control: Author Dezenhall How did the Tylenol case come to be so iconic if it's Challenges Tylenol Cyanide Scare such a bad model? The reason it became known for being so brilliantly Response, Conventional PR Wisdom managed is that a PR firm that didn't handle it wrote a Brian Pittman’s spotlight: Eric Dezenhall, CEO, case study declaring it to be brilliant. They rewrote the Dezenhall Resources facts and went around on road shows for years The old rules of crisis management don't cut it proselytizing the case. anymore, believes D.C.-based communications exec Basically, it came down to some very clever PR and author Eric Dezenhall. What's more: This is 25th people rewriting how it went down, positioning it as anniversary of the Tylenol cyanide scare, which their own work—and then using it as a rainmaking Dezenhall says should not be upheld as a model of tool. From there, lots of PR people preached this case crisis management. "The myth is they immediately for new business development purposes. Business recalled the product, but it actually took eight days. school professors also love this case study and the Retailers began pulling it first," says Dezenhall, who "theories" behind it because it's so neat and tidy. But began his career in the White House Office of the truth is crises are typically far messier. Traditional Communications during the Reagan presidency and crisis communications is rarely up to the task. has since managed "monster controversies" for top ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 12
  14. 14. What's "wrong" with crisis communications as we or "promotional" sphere are disasters at mitigating know it? crisis. Conventional crisis communications is about issuing Another tip that comes out of this is to be aware of apologies, staying on message and getting out there your own hard wiring. If you abhor confrontation, quickly. That's insufficient. It should be more about don't volunteer for crisis work. Admit that you should recognizing that modern crises aren't always organic be on the marketing side—and work hard to find the and simple. Instead, they're agenda-driven conflicts right partners to sit with you at the table when crisis catalyzed by motivated adversaries. The best way to strikes. answer the question, then, is to say that modern crises aren't communications problems. They're conflicts. Who are those right people—who should be in the Conventional PR is anchored in the belief that the war room? public want to be educated, as if the public is waiting Let's start with who shouldn't be there. Mid-level to hear more about what an industrial polluter has to people with no decision-making power—get them out say. But the truth is the public isn't listening. The of the room. Others include: technical people with no Edward Bernays school of PR assumes that the public capacity to summarize complicated things for public is a blank state to be manipulated. But my experience consumption, and note-takers or people who feel is they're not even listening. The public doesn't yearn compelled to send detailed emails on laptops about the to be educated by multinationals. So my perspective is proceedings. When there's someone in the room taking that true crisis communications now is more guerrilla detailed notes, I get up. I've had too many situations warfare than conventional warfare. where I've later seen my memos in the newspaper. You never know the loyalties of the people in the room. You claim in your book that PR isn't the best discipline to combat crisis—why? Could you explain that statement—why do you say The answer is it's not in the DNA of most PR that? people to do what's necessary to manage a crisis. PR A corporation under siege is no longer a company. people by nature tend to be positive people who are It's a collection of individuals looking for self very uncomfortable with the existence of conflict. They preservation, so you never know who will send that want it all to be OK. The problem with that is email to The Wall Street Journal. everything won't be OK when you're dealing with So back to the question: Who absolutely must be in conflicts. What you have to look at in any crisis is not the room? only what the problem is, but also what the DNA is of The top lawyer, the top business manager or your the people at table. CEO, a crisis counselor and an expert on whatever the Corporate PR people are used to communicating technical issue or question is that's under positive information. They're not used to sparring with consideration. That's it. And yes, you need a PR person people who want to hurt them. Their job is about in the room—but it has to be someone who is adept at building and maintaining "relations." That makes sense dealing with bad news. If that's not you, find that when the focus is on news releases, speeches and the person and get him or her in there. usual corporate communications mission. In that sphere, their DNA is correct. But not when you're What are some of your "new rules" of crisis dealing with crisis management, where you're facing management? hostile parties. Political-oriented PR people are less For starters, don't always apologize. Bill Clinton and limited that way. Martha Stewart survived scandals by avoiding apologies. Also: Seek recovery, not popularity. O.J. How does that critique of the typical PR mindset Simpson is reviled by much of the public, but he translate to advice for readers? succeeded at avoiding jail. Another one is to fight back For starters, corporations and their PR assertively instead of making nice. For example, representatives should be better at attracting people to Microsoft's vigorous fight during its anti-trust battle had the table who have been through litigation. Bring on much more impact on saving its reputation than Gates' people who know what it's like to have protesters out attempt to appear more likable by wearing sweaters. there. Hire PR team members who have dealt with Don't try to spin a public that doesn't want to be savage litigation and blanket negative media coverage. spun. For example, BP's feel-good advertising didn't Realize that PR people who come from the marketing win over the public following 2005-6 allegations of ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 13
  15. 15. leaks and commodity trading fraud. And don't confuse consumers control. crises with conflicts, nuisances or marketplace assaults. HP made the mistake of inflating its 2006 boardroom What did you think of JetBlue's apology—did it give leak nuisance into a crisis. consumers that control? I thought it was great. I thought it was more than How do you think JetBlue responded to its recent just the typical PR apology. It actually came equipped crisis? with penitence and action. The great mistake of crisis I think they did fine. When the story broke, an management is the belief that the apology is the interviewer for a TV news program asked me why answer. I savage that in the book. The apology must JetBlue was in such a mess. I said one reason was come with an offering or a threat. JetBlue came with they—and the rest of the media—were asking guests the offering of its "Passenger Bill of Rights" and actions every hour on the hour why the company was in that included refunds. That's why it works. But the trouble. My argument was the media was in effect problem with most PR messaging is that it isn't creating the crisis, as far as the response to it goes. supported with behaviors driving the company. It's just Related to that was the incorrect assumption by the that—messaging. part of the interviewer that the media would have What other crises have you been watching—what covered JetBlue's response had it been handled lessons spring from them? correctly. That was a wrong assumption because then The biggest is the Department of Justice scandal. there would be no story. The old mother goose notion Here's why: When a crisis begins, there's always a that if you do the right thing and apologize is total BS tremendous pressure to respond quickly. PR 101 insists these days, because the media and online sites like that you get out there fast. The problem with this is some blogs are active investors in perpetuating the that you often don't know squat right away. But if you crisis. They only gain if they keep the crisis afloat. say that, it looks like stonewalling to the media. They need it to fill the news hole, get more viewers and, ultimately, be more profitable. So, Gonzales got out there and pretended like he knew. He probably didn't lie willfully, but he came out That aside, I gave JetBlue very high marks. Modern half-cocked and looked like he lied. Now he's in the crisis management is personality driven, not "plan" or impossible situation of convincing people that he strategy driven. So having their CEO out there in an didn't lie. You never get that moral equity back. It's far evangelical way was fantastic. People want to see the better to piss people off for a few days while you get person, not the plan. That's what we respond to, and it your act together than it is to attempt to feed the news worked for them. hole and speak quickly. Another example is the pet The belief in the "plan" really is the ultimate PR food story. They don't know what caused the problem, avoidance strategy. Obsessing about what the crisis plan but the media's still clamoring for an answer no matter should be is the best way to sound like you're doing what. something when you're really just avoiding the issue at hands. Honestly, it takes a second to determine How have the blogosphere and new media changed strategy. What you need is the vehicle for the nature of crisis? communicating that plan—and today, it really comes The blogosphere is an active investor in a target's down to people standing in front of the problem like destruction. It is a beast that demands and feeds on their CEO did. negative information. It actively resists any vindicating When I talk to a client under siege, I first ask who information about a target of attack. Why? It's human the lead is. If they say they need to flesh out the nature. We all like to be the ones to traffic in dirt. We strategy first, that's when we push back from the table. want to be the first ones forwarding the email of Britney with her shaved head because it gives us power What did JetBlue do wrong? over the target. I think it was the original sin. Crisis management all People want control. Obama is popular right now in comes down to control. When you have people stuck part because we are responsible for making him a god. on the runway for 11 hours, you have committed an Once he gets too big and forgets the little people, we unforgivable sin. Those people had no control over will tear him town. Martha got so big that her base their lives. Better to cancel flights and piss people off ceased to be able to relate to her as "one of us who than to leave them in a coffin for 11 hours. When all is made good." Then she got more coverage than ever said and done, crisis management is about giving when she went to prison. You couldn't turn around ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 14
  16. 16. without seeing another Martha headline. for those three characters in its crisis stories. Knowing Also, blogs want to break things first. It's their way to this will give you a framework within which to work. get their name out and tear down their enemies What is the number one crisis tip you learned during without research or barriers. Years ago, if I wanted to your tenure at the White House? place a bad story, I would have to convince an The most important factor in who survives a crisis is investigative reporter. He'd resist due to journalistic the fundamental likeability of the target. People liked standards. He'd have to spend weeks, if not months, on Reagan. They let him slide on a lot of things. I was a the research. But online, someone can plant a rumor 22 year old kid. I wasn't a power player, but I do recall that you're being investigated by the Department of that Deputy White House Chief of Staff Mike Deaver Justice, for example. The rumor will spread, without would rarely let Reagan talk to hostile audiences with any research. To top it off, newspapers will contribute the belief he would win them over. Instead, he was just to the rumor by reporting that "there are rumblings put in situations where he was strong and audiences online that X person is being investigated by the liked him. Department of Justice." So the tip is this: Nothing is to be gained by trying What is the best way to defuse an online situation to convince people who hate you to like you. Preach to like that? the choir instead. I think it can sometimes happen only through legal action directed at the perpetrator, and by drawing This article appeared in attention in the broader media to the fact that someone Bulldog Reporter’s Daily ‘Dog. is using this technique online. Knowing that they're For more information go to being watched can have a chilling effect on hostile www.bulldogreporter.com/dailydog. actors—and that includes blogs. The mistake many PR people make is thinking that if they refute the claims and talk about good things, it will outweigh the Unprecedented Crisis Response: PR negative. My perspective is that doesn't work. You have Opens Microsoft's Doors to Thwart to instead put the bulls-eye back on the attacker. the Zotob Virus Crisis and Restore Do you believe the media is always looking for a Customer Confidence "villain" and a "hero" in a crisis? Every crisis has three Vs: the victim, the villain and By Frank Zeccola the vindicator. The public only understands narratives, There are thousands of computer worms and viruses not crises. We want to know who to like, who to believe in existence throughout the world at any particular and who to hate. That's how the media tells its stories moment in time. If your computer has ever been related to crises. infected, you know the amount of frustration and stress a virus can cause—especially if it happens at work. So how do you make yourself the vindicator and not Strange message boxes appear on your screen. the villain? Programs and files disappear. Friends and colleagues A crisis is resolved when you muddy the rigid roles receive emails from you that you did not send. of these three types of characters or when you reverse the roles. For example, Wendy's was the villain initially Crisis strikes Microsoft: The Zotob virus causes an during the chili crisis. The victims were the public and 'Internet meltdown.' the woman who "found" the finger. The crisis was These are just some of the symptoms of popular resolved when the narrative was switched and Wendy's computer viruses. On August 9, 2005, a worm called became the victim and the woman became the villain. Zotob was released, and it began attacking computers Candidly, it rarely switches that quickly. So the goal running on old versions of Microsoft's operating of PR person is to enact that switch. In the case of system, such as Windows 2000. Since more than 95 Wendy's, it took at investigation to expose there was a percent of the world's computers run on Microsoft real villain in this other than the one initially believed Windows, countless people were hit—including entire to be the villain. So as a PR person, ask yourself if it's businesses, offices on Capitol Hill and, worst of all, possible to alter the villain. If so, will that take newsrooms like CNN, ABC and The New York Times. investigative, law enforcement or even legal elements? Symptoms of the Zotob worm include the repeated Also, be aware of this model—that the media is looking shutdown and rebooting of a computer. You can ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 15
  17. 17. imagine CNN's Wolf Blitzer standing over his Naturally, some of the Microsoft security team computer in bewilderment as it unexpectedly shuts members were nervous about letting reporters into the down and turns back on again. Situation Room, as there were obvious risks to this The Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) strategy. First was the certain distraction that would be quickly identified the virus as a low-level threat. After caused by camera and reporting crews shuffling around all, most businesses had updated their networks and the Situation Room as security members worked to not been affected. Those that were affected were help customers and destroy the virus. receiving guidance from the MSRC. But worse, what if news reporters uncovered But because such high-profile newsrooms were hit, something more startling than Zotob itself? What if a the situation quickly escalated into a media frenzy. Microsoft employee, in a fit of stress and frustration, Blitzer himself called it 'a major computer worm said something on camera that might damage the affecting computer users around the world.' Other company's reputation further? What if news crews national outlets reported an 'Internet meltdown.' Aaron cobbled together an unflattering report from images Brown declared Zotob the 'computer Ebola.' and statements taken entirely out of context? Microsoft had a crisis on its hands. 'Customers were Waggener Edstrom weighed these risks and decided misled to believe that Zotob's threat was far greater that the best course of action was to negotiate a live than the reality,' says Kjersti Gunderson, senior interview that would allow Microsoft to tell its story account executive for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, free from editorializing. This would limit the potential the agency partnering with Microsoft during the crisis. for producers to manipulate footage into a portrayal of 'The situation was unique because while the scope of a sensationalized 'worldwide crisis.' With a live impact was limited, the worm impacted high-profile interview, Microsoft could shoot straight and relay the media targets that weren't using updated Microsoft facts. software—which would have protected them from the And so, just two hours after Wolf Blitzer's initial worm.' report, CNN's Paula Zahn conducted a live interview Every crisis is serious, but when the media is part of with Microsoft spokesperson Debby Fry Wilson the crisis story, the situation is particularly delicate. 'It outside of a Microsoft building. Wilson responded to required swift and decisive action in order to Zahn's emotional 'gotcha' questions with advice and communicate the reality of the situation and quickly guidance for customers in simple, factual language. provide guidance for customers,' Gunderson says. The results: The Zotob crisis is downgraded to low impact—and trust in Microsoft is restored. The strategic response: Let the media inside At 8 p.m., just two hours after the Paula Zahn Microsoft's Situation Room to film live coverage of interview, CNN anchor Aaron Brown retracted his Microsoft's security response in action. earlier 'computer Ebola' comment and said that Zotob Luckily, Waggener Edstrom and Microsoft's security was more like a flu outbreak. Then, that evening and team had already performed drills anticipating how to early the next morning, Microsoft offered third-party respond if a virus struck. One interesting scenario the industry analysts to put the threat into perspective. team had envisioned during these drills involved They also opened the Situation Room to other key opening up the MSRC Situation Room to the media so media organizations, allowing access that had never they would have an insider's view of the security before been granted. response. Over 94 percent of media stories about the virus This would allow Microsoft to demonstrate were neutral or positive. Some reporters and bloggers responsibility, transparency and leadership during such even criticized the media's initial over-hyping of the a crisis. In the case of the Zotob response, it might also situation. quell the alarmist, almost sensational tone and hype characterizing media coverage of the virus—and 'Opening the doors to the Situation Room and change it into straightforward, factual reporting. allowing CNN to tape Microsoft security engineers aggressively working to protect customers was a key But opening the Situation Room had never been factor in shifting the public perception from crisis to done before in Microsoft's history. It was an managed situation,' Gunderson says. 'This was a tactic unprecedented crisis response. that had never been used before and that our clients Serious risks and threats pose roadblocks to were typically not willing to take a risk in doing. It was Microsoft's success. ATTENTION: It is unlawful to copy or electronically redistribute this page without express written permission from Bulldog Reporter. NOVEMBER 14, 2007 16

×