Why Three Key Messages Don’t Cut It Anymore – & What To Do About It

Have you ever surveyed your audience to see whether people can recall your three key messages after your spokesperson has been in the media? Because you did have three key messages, didn’t you? It’s like ... a rule of PR. Three key messages. But when you’re down the pub, are people actually talking about organisations’ …

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How Offensive Is Your Organisation?

Or how brave should you or your organisation be in the face of criticism that you are or have been offensive or ‘inappropriate’? Some related reputation management incidents will no doubt have caught your attention recently: Waitrose sought the resignation of its magazine editor, William Sitwell, after freelance journalist, Selene Nelson, revealed how ‘shocked’ she …

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media interview

How To Stop Your CEO Walking Out Of A Media Interview

As Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy put it: “I will defend anyone’s right to act like an arse, but if they do, they shouldn’t be surprised if anyone else decides to park their bike somewhere painful.” You may have seen the video of Persimmon plc CEO, Jeff Fairburn, walking off-camera during a recent BBC interview. He …

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pret a manger

If Pret-a-Manger is now a big, bad business, what does this say about the company you do PR for?

It has been easy to criticise Pret-a-Manger’s clunky response to the tragic death of one of its customers due to an unlabelled, sesame-seed infused baguette. It always is when you are not inside the organisation and party to the debates and decisions. Yet sorrows come not as single spies but in battalions. Now there is …

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warehouse

Growing Tension With Amazon and Its Corporate Reputation

The tension between the successful marketing messages of online retailer, Amazon, and its worsening corporate reputation has been growing this year and a useful example to discuss in our media training. As a consumer, you probably quite like Amazon. Maybe you marvel at its mastery of technology; maybe you celebrate the speed and quality of …

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richard branson pr

Andrew Highlights Richard Branson’s Powerful Human Response to the 2007 Virgin Train Cumbrian Crash

Media mischief-making last week saw Richard Branson criticised for tweeting about people turning up late for meetings when his train company has the worst punctuality record in the country. But let’s take a moment to remember how well he handled a real reputation crisis: the 2007 fatal Virgin Train crash in Cumbria. Watch his highly …

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Leaves on the track type excuse

Don’t Use Your Own ‘Leaves On The Line’ Type Excuse In A Press Release

You've read the excuse - sorry, reason - in a press release for poor corporate performance. Retailers blame the weather; restauranteurs blame Brexit; Imperial Tobacco blamed ISIS for interrupting its distribution network in Iraq. And some just blame their customers. In 2015, Macy's chief financial officer, Karen Hoguet, blamed the company's weakness in the luxury …

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Checklist For Preparing A Crisis Management Team & Crisis Centre

Know That When Crisis Strikes ... … it is a time of high emotion and confusion. Initially you will lack accurate information but will need to act and communicate swiftly. In such situations, being able to rely on processes and training will enable you and the crisis management team to act calmly and with purpose. …

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How To Explain A Complicated Thing Like Blockchain In A Media Interview

How do you communicate complex or technical topics like Blockchain in a media interview simply, easily and in layman terms? This is the type of challenge we address in our media training. At the heart of good communication lies simplicity. Which is not the same as 'dumbing down'. Simplicity allows the audience to understand you …

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Frustration Boils Over In Oxfam CEO Media Interview

What was the low point in Oxfam's response to its reputation crisis? It was frustration boiling over for Oxfam’s CEO, Mark Goldring, when he gave a media interview to the Guardian and said that criticism of the charity was “out of proportion to the level of culpability”, that no one had “murdered babies in their …

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Should Company Spokespeople Expect More Hostile Media Interviews In 2018?

Hostile media interviews. Was the Peterson-Newman Channel 4 interview a watershed moment? Business has an image problem. Whether the focus is on its role in society, levels of executive pay, the privatisation of public services or the alleged behaviour of some of those attending the Presidents Club charity dinner, corporations are under greater scrutiny than …

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Tackling The Fallacy That 93% Of Communication Is Non-verbal

So Many Trainers Get This So Wrong Many people misunderstand Albert Mehrabian's research if they think he concluded that people’s first impressions are based 55% on how you look, 38% on how you sound (i.e. the 93% total) and only 7% on what you say. If someone was to give you the spoken instruction “Evacuate …

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Why does a story go viral – like United Airlines bumped passenger?

Why does a story go viral? The United Airlines bumped passenger story offers us a nice insight into the power of communications. I suspect that this situation doesn’t make an appearance in United’s crisis manual. But then, it’s not a crisis. It’s a poorly handled issue - at the moment. Much like when two weeks …

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Is There A Legal Duty To Maximise Profit?

Let us examine the oft-repeated claim that the directors of (especially listed) companies have a legal duty to maximise profit and to minimise tax for the benefit of their shareholders. Under Section 172 of the UK’s 2006 Companies Act, company directors merely have a legal duty to promote the success of their company. Specifically, directors …

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nervous speaker

Expert Guide: How to Deal With Nerves Or A Phobia About Public Speaking

If You Have A Phobia About Public Speaking ...   ... then you’re suffering from ‘glossophobia’. It’s from the Greek - ‘glosso’ meaning tongue. Fundamentally, the phobia of public speaking comes from a fear of being judged. So how can we lessen it? First, take comfort in your expertise. You would not have been invited …

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