Netflix apology–good or bad?

Seems there is usually a herd mentality when it comes to crisis communication pundit comments about reputation crises. That’s why it is interesting to me to see such a wide variety of opinion about Netflix’s crisis and the way they are handling it. The Netflix crisis is a little different than most reputation crises. It […]

The media was wrong about the spill, but don’t expect an apology

Remember the old Aesop fable of crying “Wolf!” Shout an alarm a few too many times when there is no reason for it and pretty soon, no one will believe you. That’s pretty much common sense. But, the news media today, in their desperate attempts to attract audiences are exaggerating, embellishing, emotionalizing and over-hyping the […]

Here's a great video to use for media training–no apology from Louis Gates Jr's arresting officer

Like most in this business I have done a number of media training programs. We usually look for good examples to show of what to do and what not to do. Here’s a great example of someone who hasn’t been media trained–or if he has, the lesson didn’t take. The story is about the hot […]

When can an apology hurt you?

I’ve been a strong advocate of being quick to apologize when you have done something wrong–both personally and as a company. I believe people are very willing to forgive when there is a sincere expression of regret and clear communication about how you are changing. This headline from the Bulldog Reporter (a PR Industry publication) […]

Tim Cook, Ted Bishop, the invisible Ebola czar and other random thoughts

Lots going on in our world of crisis communication, but as I’ve been busting it getting a big project done for a client (series of 18 training videos on global crisis communication), I haven’t had much time to comment, let alone think about some of these things. Ted Bishop, former president of PGA. He was […]

Can cyberattacks improve your reputation?

Think Target and the hit it took when hackers stole the private information of millions, requiring many to update credit cards and the like. It’s a disaster that most executives believe will happen to them–not if, but when. So, that makes it even more amazing to find out that most executives think, according a study […]

Benton County (WA) PUD demonstrates what is expected in admission of error

Admitting you messed up and hurt someone or something is one of the biggest dilemmas in crisis communication. Your lawyers are screaming you can’t do it because its an admission of guilt and will kill you in court. The public is thinking–let’s see what these folks are made of. They messed up and now they […]

Farmers now have “go to jail jobs” too

(Similar post also published on A few years ago, a friend and board member of my company who was an oil industry executive, talked about “go to jail” jobs. He said a lot of senior leadership positions in the oil industry were now jobs that carried the risk of jail time if things went […]

Lululemon’s crisis points us in the wrong direction

Jonathan Bernstein’s blog post on the Lululemon double crisis (sheer pants then a bad Bloomberg interview, followed by a rather pathetic “apology” video, caused me to look closer at the videos. The Bloomberg interview which aired Nov 5 had Chip Wilson and Shannon Wilson, founders of Lululemon discussing the problems they have had with sheer […]

What advice to give those involved in reputation wrecks?

Yesterday I was interviewed by NPR for a program airing this weekend about PR and reputation problems caused by racism. It’s always good for someone who helps others prepare for media interviews to do a real one themselves to bring some lessons home. I wasn’t too happy with the interview despite having prepared by thinking […]