Get Your Crisis Management Tips in 15 Minutes

A few weeks ago we launched The Crisis Management Advisor on Google Helpouts. That means you can schedule, pay and immediately receive crisis management counsel in a confidential video call.

More recently, we added an introductory version of The Crisis Management Advisor for those who just want some basic crisis management / reputation tips. We call it Crisis Management 101: Quick Tips in 15 minutes. Right now, that costs just $10 – which is cheaper than two grande lattes anywhere in the world.

And, even if you don’t work with us, we highly recommend checking out the many great service providers with many talents who are now on Helpouts.

You can watch this video for more information about the format.

To learn more about Rich Klein Crisis Management, please visit http://www.richkleincrisis.com or visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

Hyundai, NHTSA Hiding Truth About Recall from Public – PR Ethics?

As I do regularly, I peruse the news to find topics for The Crisis Show. Earlier this week, I caught a Reuters story about a just announced recall by Hyundai. Well, maybe not. You see, Reuters picked up on the recall but when I visited Hyundai’s website, there’s absolutely no mention of the recall. So I visited Hyundai on Facebook and on Twitter — and also, no mention. I looked again today, three days after the Reuters story, and it’s as if the recall did not exist. So I called Hyundai’s customer service line (August 1) and they told me that letters were being sent our “tomorrow” (August 2) to owners who are impacted by the recall.

But that’s only half the story. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is in charge of recalls of autos in the United States..but their website also has no mention. I called the media department of the NHTSA and asked them if they had a copy of the Hyundai recall announcement or a news release. No one returned my call or email.

The Reuters story said there’s a problem with airbags. Here’s an excerpt:

The curtain, or side air bag, in the Sonata sedan “may inflate without deployment command and increase the risk of injury to occupants of the vehicle,” NHTSA said. Also, an air bag deploying when there is no crash or other normal cause for it doing so can hinder the driver’s ability to control the vehicle, the agency said.

A Hyundai spokesman said there has been a single issue that the company is aware of when an air bag deployed and there was no crash.

Hyundai will replace the side air bags on the Sonata free of charge. The recall is to begin next month, the automaker told the NHTSA.

If the automaker did tell the NHTSA, doesn’t the government agency that is responsible for transportation safety have an obligation to alert the public right away?

As public relations professionals and social media managers, we have an ethical obligation to alert the public to a product or service that can cause serious injury or death.

Hyundai USA’s Twitter feed says it is operated by its “PR Gurus.” If you brag about how good you are at PR, then at least do your job, which is to inform the public about critical information that can save lives.

On Episode #7 of The Crisis Show last night, I gave Hyundai and the NHTSA an “F” in crisis management. So far, it’s well deserved.

Statement by Orrick/Akin Gump About Ending Merger Talks Comes Up Short

Someone inside BigLaw will talk eventually to the media (or an influential legal blog) about why these merger talks did not continue. So, I’m surprised that Orrick and Akin Gump didn’t go a bit further with their joint statement released today:

“Orrick and Akin Gump have mutually agreed to conclude preliminary discussions regarding the possibility of a merger. The firms appreciated the opportunity to have the discussions, which confirmed their mutual respect for one another. However, the firms have determined not to proceed.”

This statement begs the question: “Why didn’t you proceed? ”

Whenever merger talks end, usually it’s because of either economics, serious client conflicts, firm culture or all of the above. The two firms could have gone slightly further in their statement by saying there was a “difference of opinion” regarding one of these issues.

In 2007, when Orrick and Dewey (then Dewey Ballantine) ended their merger discussions, the two firms issued this statement:

“Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and Dewey Ballantine LLP have jointly decided to end merger discussions. Both firms are successful, global firms that saw great potential in a combination. However, a combination of this size and scope posed significant challenges. While both firms tried their best to work through these challenges, we were unable to bring the merger to completion. No one issue led us to this point, and each firm leaves this process with great respect for the leaders and partners of the other.”

OK..the 2007 statement at least says that it was not “one issue.”

What’s also interesting is that Orrick and Dewey issued a lengthy joint news release when they started discussions in October 2006.

I welcome other thoughts on these joint statements, particularly from those in law firm management as well as from my law firm PR/marketing colleagues.