Offering a “mea culpa”

If you didn’t see it in USA Today (2/26/13 p. 5b) you should check out the comments by Rem Rieder, editor of the American Journalism Review.

The topic is The Onion, and how it issued a timely apology for comments made about Quvenzhne’ Wallis.

In Rieder’s words “When you’re wrong, owning up to it is the best thing you can do…..”

Good advice for anyone, especially PR reps.

Check it out.


Frank R. Stansberry

Burger King Hacked

Here is a problem that all organizations should be prepared for in this time of technology hacking and pranks.  Though it is a minor kerfuffle for BK, some practitioners fault BK for not responding quicker (see the link below).   Issue anticipation is a critical role for PR in an organization.  Should BK have had a game plan and statement ready for this?  Should they have one for every possible problem as this practitioner suggests?

Good Internal Communications Begets Good External Reputation

It was Edward L. Bernays who famously said “make news not news releases” and that is what Kaiser Permanente (Case 3-4) has done with its internal communications program.

KP’s CEO, as the case tells, has been sending notes to his 200,000 employees for five years now.  And, as Rex Huppke, a columnist in the Chicago Tribune writes, “these are not filled with grandiose prose.  They are lengthy, fact-based compositions that highlight (celebrate) things that people in the company have been doing right”

Excellent internal communications, important for its own purposes, turns out to be excellent reputation building .  Definitely a win-win.   Check it out at:…/ct-biz-0204-work-advice-huppke-20130204_ 1_george-halvorson-employees-ulcers

Boy Scouts on the move — good or bad pr?

Seems that the Boy Scouts  (Chapter 8, Case 4) may be feeling enough “pain” to stimulate a change in their policy on gay leaders and members.  This may be a result of constant pressure from outside groups, the loss of involvement from former  supporters.  Seems their tactics may be successful in motivating change.

However, decisions like these need to be delicately handled since it has the possibility of alienating ongoing supporters but not doing enough to draw in the opposition. 

Do you think that the leaking of reports that they were considering allowing groups to decide for themselves  was calculated to test the waters?  Could a similar strategy may have been in play when VP Biden mentioned the gay marriage decision prior to President Obama’s announcement?  Does it tend to deflate reaction in the long run or build it?  And is the strategy of letting individual groups decide how they want to handle gay leaders going to solve problems or expand them?