Category Archives: Crisis communications

If you work in public relations, you will encounter disasters. But for a government communications pro, a state of emergency turns the pressure up. On today’s PR Wars, we talk with Mike Steele, the Communications Director for the State of Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. In this role, a disaster is another day on the job.

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Have you ever made a difficult choice to take on a client that has done something bad? In many cases, media villains are not as bad as they seem and the heroes are not as great as they appear. On today’s PR Wars podcast, we’ll show you how to be the conscience of a company.

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Have you ever noticed that when you’re pitching a good story, you can’t get a reporter on the phone? And when there’s a bad story, you can’t get a reporter off of your phone. On today’s PR Wars podcast, find out why message discipline is so important when dealing with a hostile reporter.

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Looking for a return on investment (ROI) for your proactive public relations? Think of your proactive placements as making deposits into a bank. I am not talking about a financial bank, but a trust bank.

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Imagine being one of the first corporate communicators to prepare messaging for a historic pandemic. I mean… ground zero… the tip of the spear… having a manufacturing facility in Wuhan, China and creating a new playbook for its factories around the world. Today on the PR Wars podcast, Khaner Walker recounts the first days of the pandemic as Global Director of Internal and Executive Communications for computer giant Lenovo.

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Is civil and productive communication dead? Americans are more divided than ever. During a recent trip to Firehouse Subs, employees argued loudly about “respect” by commanding the attention of the entire restaurant.

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The PR Wars “Caught You Being Good” segment recognizes real world examples of best practices in public relations. The Wendy’s fast food chain Twitter strategy gained serious momentum over the past few years. The channel took on a snarky tone teasing competitors and pleasing digitally connected Millennial customers while growing its platform to nearly four million followers. In the late Spring of 2020, Wendy’s began taking criticism for not responding appropriately to the Black Lives Matter movement. It was time to shift its social strategy. Wendy’s responded by moving from the snarky self-promotion to a more serious educational tone honoring Black voices including students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s). The shift in strategy proved appropriate. Just over a week later, the hamburger chain was thrust into the center of the controversy when a police officer shot and killed Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot in Atlanta, GA.…

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On a warm Spring day, I received a call from the CEO of a nursing home facility. A gunman walked into the senior living center and killed eight elderly people in their beds. The CEO asked for me to hurry to the small North Carolina town as news helicopters and live trucks circled the large police response. Since this was a hospital for seniors, the staff needed to continue to care for the elderly patients in the crime scene. I walked past the press line, crawled under the crime scene tape, and entered the building. I first encountered investigating police as I entered the building. As I slowly progressed down the hall, employees were standing in a circle and reciting the Lord’s Prayer. I turned to the CEO’s office and found him at his desk with his head in his hands. He looked up at me and said “I am…

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