Walmart and JPMorgan: Tales From The Trenches

Walmart and JPMorgan: Tales From The Trenches

The most seasoned and successful practitioners in the public relations business have a finely honed instinct for how something will play out in the court of public opinion. Recently, however, two very big corporate gaffes made me wonder whether their communications consiglieres turned a tin, if not deaf ear to activities that would prove deleterious […]

Elon Musk Takes The Wheel

Elon Musk Takes The Wheel

Tesla Model S Several years ago I agreed to have breakfast with a soon-to-be former senior executive of the nascent Tesla Motors Inc.. The employee chose to leave the then-struggling company whose chairman, he insisted, was not publicly forthright in divulging the company’s shortcomings. He told me that the sales projections weren’t all they were […]

The Bloomberg Files

The Bloomberg Files

Oh the irony of ironies! Leave it to Gawker to re-open the Bloomberg spying debacle with new revelations on just what client information reporters had access to. Gawker’s Nitasha Tiku is giving Hamilton Nolan a run for his money in the “make-a-splash” department though it’s doubtful she’ll ever match his proclivity for profanity. In her […]

The Perfect PR Storm

The Perfect PR Storm

Jay Carney on the Hot Seat (Photo: Saul Loeb, Getty Images) You gotta feel for Jay Carney. Not one, not two, but three concurrent crises for which he alone has been saddled to articulate the Administration’s positions. Well, not exactly alone, but compared to how previous administrations have handled such affronts — political or otherwise […]

Liquid Gold

Liquid Gold

Back in the early nineties, I switched agencies and found myself conceiving PR/media strategies for various products of the Colgate-Palmolive company – from toothpaste to laundry detergent. The agency change also necessitated that I alter my personal CPG usage habits from Pepsi to Coke, P&G’s Crest brand to Colgate, and RJR’s Winston Lights to Philip […]

Crisis Quarterbacks

Crisis Quarterbacks

BP former chief Tony Hayward  Photo | Justin Thomas Playing Monday morning quarterback for the crisis du jour has long been a favorite pastime of PR pros and media types everywhere. I mean who didn’t have an opinion about how BP behaved in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill? And did Tiger Woods, faced […]

PR Week NEXT

PR Week NEXT

I was able to swing by PR Week’s annual NEXT Conference yesterday held at the Sheraton New York Hotel where I grabbed some sound from the publication’s UK-transplanted new editor Steve Barrett. I asked him about the differences between the PR industry here and across the pond. He basically said that social media is more […]

Just Blame the Agency

Posted by on Aug 10, 2010 in APCO, crisis management, HP, Mark Hurd, PR, Sherrod | 5 Comments
Just Blame the Agency

HP Ousted CEO Mark Hurd OMG! “Hewlett Took a P.R. Firm’s Advice in the Hurd Case” blares the headline on the business pages of today’s New York Times. No s**t, Sherlock! Of course, the company and its board sought counsel from an established public relations firm. To whom should they have turned? A priest? The […]

A Pool Approach to Coverage

“Should the volatility of a company’s stock price determine how public information on an environmental disaster be delivered to the public?” This is the crux of the issue that “The Media Equation’s” David Carr raises in his always must-read column today “A Disaster, Privately Managed.” In essence, the command-and-control approach taken by BP and its […]

Not Ready for PRime Time Players

Not Ready for PRime Time Players

It’s natural for us as PR pros to Monday-morning quarterback a prominent PR gaffe. After all, we have the advantage of not being at the table as the beleaguered PR consiglieres assess the myriad mitigating factors that would inform a communications strategy. As outsiders, we can simply take notice of the ugly aftermath and postulate […]