It's been more than a year since Ford was revealed to be a crack smoker but he has maintained his meaty grip on power, and is currently dominating the media coverage of Toronto's upcoming municipal election. To pull this off, Ford has redefined the art of crisis communications, demonstrating that you can survive scandal by simply avoiding the truth or drowning it out. Ford is not, of course, the first to use silence, denial and obfuscation to advance his own interests.
Although the CEO is just one person, they should empower their team to become brand advocates. By engaging employees at all levels in your company's vision and values, and encouraging them to experience your product or service, there is a greater chance they will feel more connected to the brand and will talk positively about the company to friends and family.
LeBron's masterful handling of his return to Cleveland offers a case study in public relations far beyond sports. The lesson is simple: humility is powerful. For successful business leaders, being humble doesn't always come naturally. And it isn't a quality that you can easily fake, and those who try and fail get punished even more.
As social media has become more prevalent, people have come to expect immediate information and real, consumer driven conversations. This has forced the traditional news landscape to evolve, prompting much discussion about the relevancy of newspapers, TV, and radio. But does traditional media even have a place in today's culture of 140 characters or less?
We can't force anybody to love social media, and that's fine. But to dismiss it as a communications tool is to alienate an entire demographic -- who may very well be one of your target audiences -- and who will most certainly miss out on your key messages. Social media should be viewed as another tool in an organization's corporate communications/ marketing toolkit.
Once hesitant to blog, tweet or post a photo to Facebook, more and more CEOs (and their leadership teams) are embracing social media in an effort to build communities and increase positive sentiment towards their companies. Here are five reasons I believe CEOs should champion the use of social media.
Despite the importance of crisis preparedness in a 24 hour news cycle, many companies still don't have a crisis communications plan in place. Instead, they either hope one will never happen or figure they can "wing it" when a crisis eventually does occur. Simply put, not having a crisis plan in place is like playing Russian Roulette with your company's brand.
Beijing 2008 is a case study on how to leverage hosting an Olympics to redefine a nation's image. By all accounts, China earned marketing gold. Russia would be lucky to finish the race at this point. From a communications perspective, it seems clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin is more interested in using the Sochi games to solidify his brand inside Russia rather than engaging with the world. His constant and unbridled attacks against Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender (LBGT) rights are certainly aimed at a Russian audience. So far he is not showing any remorse at alienating himself from the rest of the world.
The IPCC Report was in the news for a couple of days and then disappeared from mass media news cycle. This is the largest crisis humanity has ever faced: Life on earth hangs in the balance. And yet the media attention given to Miley Cyrus twerking was infinitely greater than the coverage of the IPCC report.
Yes, October 31 began with unfavourable news for Rob Ford. But what made it worse was his poorly-planned response, rather than the news itself. The pictures and videos of him chasing reporters were not classy. These are his fellow citizens -- the residents of the city of which he is Mayor. And that was very rude behaviour.
Do people quoted in newspapers review the stories before they run? Can advertisers legally lie? Are PR people the biggest liars of all? How much does it cost to get a story into The Globe and Mail or the Toronto Star? Who do you pay? Once you start reading, why does the headline have nothing to do with the story?