Sound Bite That Bit The President

Last week, President Obama was answering questions at a news conference. And one short sentence got him in big trouble in the court of public opinion. 

I wrote about this in a post on LinkedIn just now.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20140903040308-6790863-the-big-bad-soundbite-that-bit-the-president

 

5 Reasons Leaders Fail at Crisis Management

Here’s my recent post that first appeared on LinkedIn: 5 Reasons Leaders Fail at Crisis Management. 

Please feel free to add your comments below.

 

The Crisis Show Turns 2 – Crisis Management Tips Here

As The Crisis Show marks its 2nd anniversary on air, here’s some highlights from the show from June 2013 to June 2014:

 

Quick Overview of The Crisis Management Advisor on Google Helpouts

This video will briefly explain how The Crisis Management Advisor works.

Here’s the link to The Crisis Management Advisor profile on Google Helpouts.

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.

Honesty Remains Lonely Word: Royal Caribbean, Michael’s Stores

When three hundred 600 of your passengers fall ill to a virus out on the ocean, it’s big news and a crisis. When millions of your customers have their data stolen because they shopped at your chain stores, it’s also big news and a crisis. So why did the leaders of Royal Caribbean and Michael’s Stores this weekend try so hard to bury the bad news and insulting the intelligence of their critical audiences and beyond?

Both these companies have active Twitter and Facebook pages. But 24+ hours into their respective crises, only customers are reporting the obvious news while the companies offer little insight into what happened. One big problem in these situations is that company executives limit release of their crisis statements to the media.

That’s a huge miscalculation because the media is rarely going to run the full statement.

To have the best chance at defending reputation, companies need to post their own statements on their websites ASAP with links going to their Twitter and Facebook pages as well. CEOs and company presidents might also consider creating short YouTube videos about the crisis to show real compassion.

In a crisis, do you really want everyone else to tell your story?

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I’ve written and lectured about this subject for more than two decades and remain baffled at this widespread disregard for honesty, ethics, social responsibility and their own corporate reputation. Is it the lawyers telling them to not say anything or is it their own decision-making? Or, do they foolishly not prepare for a crisis that happens over the weekend because no one is in their corporate offices?

Unless we are inside these (and other companies), we’ll never know. But it’s clear that withholding or burying critical information that customers need in a crisis is a great way to alienate loyal customers and impacts the ability to attract new ones.

I believe part of the problem is that many companies today are too worried about short term revenues, short term rises in stock prices and counting on short memories.

When they start focusing instead on long term reputation by dealing with a short term crisis head-on with transparency and compassion, they are more likely to be rewarded with repeat business by more loyal customers for decades.

Update: Michael’s finally put its CEO letter front and center on its website but didn’t mention it on its Facebook or Twitter pages.

Royal Caribbean finally acknowledged Sunday night on Twitter — for the first time — that there was a crisis. And here’s the statement that the company finally issued: It’s impersonal, shows no real concern for health of passengers and has no attribution.

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Simon Says: We Don’t Care About People & Abercrombie No Better At Roosevelt Field

Compassion. Humanity. How hard is that? Well, for Simon Malls, owners of Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City, Long Island, as well as Abercrombie & Fitch, guess they just can’t find the time to offer a statement of concern for the nine workers overcome by carbon monoxide poisoning this morning. Check out the tweets Simon/Roosevelt sent out a good three hours after the incident:

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And this tweet from Abercrombie at 12:30 pm EDT today (June 20):

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In today’s instant news cycle, it’s mandatory to post SOMETHING on social media — particularly your Twitter profile and Facebook page — in a crisis where people are hurt on or near your properties.

Instead of turning people off with “we’re open, come shop” the message should have been at least: “Our hearts and prayers go out to the workers injured today at our Roosevelt Field location. We’re working closely with authorities to investigate the cause.” (Simon Mall example).

Abercrombie could have said something similar.

Shame on Simon Malls and Abercrombie. Companies and organizations must put people first especially when lives are in danger.

Sometimes the problem lies at the top of the organization and other times it’s because companies employ junior social media people who have no clue about crisis situations or reputation management.

Either way, it’s an issue all companies must think about if they care at all about their long term reputation.