PR Practices: Managerial Case Studies and Problems
A leading text of case studies for public relation’s student and practitioners.
On this website we discuss views and news on current cases as well as potential cases for later editions.

Carnival Cruise Lines sinks twice

We talk in the book about different kinds of crises and how to handle them (Chapter 9).  When a crisis is caused by organization mechanical problems that are unforeseeable then the organization can react in a particular way.  But the cause of the problem needs to be carefully examined.  Was it truly mechanical in Carnival’s case or is there human error or management action (or inaction) at fault?  When the same problem happens twice it suggests that both human error and management inaction is afoot.  What counsel would you be giving Carnival now?

Exxon Mobil fights in court over MTBE

The pollution groundwater has experienced from MTBE has been proven hefty, yet Exxon-Mobil continues to fight in the courts over compensating States.  The final ruling against them in NH is being appealed (just announced) is being appealed. What does this do, if anything, to their reputation?  Is it too complicated and drawn out to impact it at all?

Will the case on Guns (8-3) need updating?

Congress is potentially making changes to gun laws this month due to serious increased pressure following the triggering events of Aurora and Sandy Hook.  Those parents have taken the lead and are keeping intense pressure on our legislators.  And yet, it looks like only partial change will happen.  What else do you think needs to happen for further changes to be made?

PRSA Learn To Teach

PRSA’s College of Fellows has teamed up with the PRSA Educators to seek out practitioners who might be interested in teaching part or full-time.  I wonder what students think the best “professors” bring to the table to make their learning experience most effective and enjoyable?  Does practical experience in the field make a difference to you?

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