The Wilbert Group Blog

Media Moves

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We love getting – and sharing — the latest newsroom scoop. In Media Moves, we highlight changes in journalism and the media both locally and nationally.

Catie Dixon, national editor at Bisnow, spoke about editorial strategy on the “New Media Species” panel at the National Association of Real Estate Editors spring conference. Dixon began as a reporter at Bisnow in 2009, and says the publication is not as “inside baseball” as it used to be. Now, reporters and editors are looking increasingly for real estate stories that are interesting and relevant to a broader audience. Dixon said retail and sports stadiums are interesting to everyone and having a U.S. president who is a real estate developer translates to lots of real estate story angles with broad appeal.

Catie Dixon (middle) talked about Bisnow's editorial strategy at NAREE in Denver, Colorado last week.

Catie Dixon (middle) talked about Bisnow’s editorial strategy at NAREE in Denver, Colorado last week.

Dixon also shed some light on Bisnow’s revenue model. The site’s content is 100 percent free (no paywall) and while Bisnow generates some revenue from advertising and sponsored content, the majority of their revenue comes from events.


 

National television news shows appear to be holding on to their viewership numbers, while political talk shows are actually growing, according to a new Network News Fact Sheet from Pew Research Center. The data reveals the combined average viewership for the ABC, CBS and NBC networks remained stable, decreasing only one percent in 2016. On a more interesting note, the combined average audience for Sunday’s political talk shows on the three networks grew by 14 percent in 2016, following an eight percent increase from 2014-2015.

Read more here:

The patterns and data about network TV news.

McClatchy’s is trying to refresh its newsrooms with a “digitial reinvention” strategy. McClatchy’s team is advising journalists to spend more time gathering stories that digitial audiences are looking for in local journalism. Tim Grieve, vice president of news for McClatchy, said readers come to a local site for local content, so generic celebrity fluff or cute videos are not an asset. Digital audiences are looking for a deep story with a strong personality element; these are the biggest audience engagement winners.

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McClatchy’s big move to digital journalism has proven successful so far. The first two newsrooms to complete the digital reinvention program saw their page views rise 26 percent and 58 percent, respectively.

The McClatchy Company is an American publishing company based in Sacramento, California. It operates 31 daily newspapers including (Raleigh) The News & Observer, The Miami Herald and The Sacramento Bee.

Read more here:

McClatchey’s plan to reinvent its newsrooms.

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 11.08.13 AMIf you love the TV show or blog “The Pioneer Woman,” you’re in luck! Just a few weeks after reducing the frequency of Dr. Oz The Good Life, Hearst Magazines wants you to know it still believes in celebrity-driven publications. The Pioneer Woman Magazine debuted on June 6 and is being sold in 4,000 Walmart stores across the country. A spokesperson from Hearst tells min that distribution beyond Walmart will be determined after the two-issue pilot run.

Read more here:

The Pioneer Woman Magazine is Ree Drummond’s latest project.

 

Economics of News Make Sharing Achievements Tougher

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As I write, The Wilbert Group has four team members at the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) annual conference in Denver. It’s an opportunity for the journalists who cover real estate for a living to discuss their business, while also hearing from real estate industry experts talking about trends and outlooks.

NAREE journalists can add some expert sources to their contacts list and pick up some story ideas.

A journalism trend in progress for more than a decade is that the number of print journalists covering real estate and nearly every other topic is way down. The U.S. newspaper industry has shed about 60 percent of its newsroom jobs since 1990, a trend so unrelenting, the American Society of Newspaper Editors decided to stop tracking it last year.

Why is this important to the business community? News outlets supply information about trends in the marketplace, what competitors are up to, new government regulations, or the repeal of old ones. Fewer journalists reporting less news makes it more difficult for business people to stay as informed as they need to be.

The decline in the number of journalists covering business also makes it more challenging for companies to share information they want to get out to the public. Convincing busy reporters that your latest innovation, new deal or great hire is newsworthy wasn’t easy before. But, you can bet it’s about 60 percent tougher now.

A reporter at a metro newspaper earlier this year told me his publication stopped running items about promotions and new hires because of a lack of staff to compile that news. That’s why having skilled public relations advisers is more important than ever.

At The Wilbert Group, we spend a great deal of time reading about our clients’ industries. We routinely pass along items of interest we find. We pay attention to which journalists are writing about topics our clients are experts on and work to connect them. When our clients have news to share, we know which news outlets, and which journalists, will be interested, greatly increasing the chances of successfully getting that news out.

Sharing your company’s news in an environment when many fewer people are gathering and distributing that news is difficult, but PR pros have the expertise to help make sure it still gets done.

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 6/15/17

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Unknown1. The Wilbert Group is proud to have helped shine a light on a compassionate and important organization, Destroy Pancreatic Cancer. Spokesperson Mark Gelinas and board member Mike Broxterman were recently featured on HLN’s MichaeLA to discuss the foundation’s mission and founder John Couvillon’s legacy. You can watch the full segment here.

2. Amazon has a plan for a new distribution hub in Atlanta that will ultimately employ about 1,000 full-time workers. The new “fulfillment center” in Jefferson will be Amazon’s second in Jackson County, and the announcement comes amid the Fortune 500 company’s push to provide rapid delivery — including same-day — to more customers. Jared Wiesel, partner at Revenue Analytics, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Scott Trubey that Amazon’s push to open more fulfillment centers is part of its goal to enable delivery within hours, saying “Two of Amazon’s greatest competitive strengths are around convenience and price.”

Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 2.39.52 PM3. Preferred Apartment Communities Inc. (PAC) recently purchased Rockbridge Village, a roughly 102,432-square-foot retail center in Stone Mountain that is anchored by a 68,632-square-foot Kroger grocery store. Commercial Property Executive profiled PAC’s new asset, which it acquired through its wholly owned subsidiary New Market Properties LLC. The company financed the purchase through a non-recourse first mortgage loan originated by The Prudential Insurance Company of America.

4. General contracting firm New South Construction Company has completed construction of two Georgia senior living communities. The Glen at Lake Oconee in Greensboro and Thrive at Frederica in St. Simons are the latest to join New South Construction’s portfolio of senior living communities across the Southeast United States. New South president Huntly Gordon spoke with Multi Housing News about the projects, saying, “We’re proud to deliver modern luxury accommodations for future residents.”

5. In the past few years, there’s been a flood of intown Atlanta chefs and restaurateurs expanding OTP. While that hooped highway known as the perimeter can often feel like a solid wall when it comes to cultural differences, the fact is that literally millions of people live in the suburbs outside 285, all of whom eat and many of whom have the disposable income to eat quite well. A recent Creative Loafing article on the phenomenon profiled several OTP high-end food locations, including Avalon in Alpharetta, home to Ford Fry restaurant El Felix, a sister concept to intown Superica.

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storytelling – blogger style.

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We recently helped a client open The Summit at Fritz Farm, a mixed-use development in Lexington, Kentucky. This new property is significant to the local community as nearly 60 percent of the brands are either new to Kentucky or the exclusive location in Lexington. We designed and executed an integrated communications program that included media relations, social media, popup events and a blogger/influencer program.

Today we want to focus on the blogger program, which among the four partners generated a combined reach of nearly 400,000 and earned over 450,000 impressions on Instagram alone. Most importantly, it drove excitement with the right consumers for The Summit at Fritz Farm.

Here are five key tips for your own blogger program:

  1. Media kits are your starting point – Similar to print publications, bloggers also compile media kits that include information such as website descriptions, number of social followers, active social platforms, past partnerships and cost(s). We used these to help compare and contrast our options and ultimately pinpoint the representatives to best tell The Summit at Fritz Farm story.
  2. Evaluate past engagements – Once we had picked our top partnership choices, we began pairing retailers with bloggers. By scrolling through feeds and holding short telephone conversations, we were easily able to identify brands that aligned with the influencers’ personalities.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask – More than likely, your brands will be willing to provide items in exchange for promotion from the right influencers. One of our bloggers is based in Lexington yet has a social following of 57,000+ across the country. Think about it. That’s a significant amount of people seeing a brand through an influencer’s perspective on top of coverage in traditional media outlets.
  4. Blogs are more than just product descriptions – It’s about the experience. We worked with each blogger to tailor interactive experiences. The influencer behind blog Love, Lexington partnered with The FRYE Company to highlight the brand’s boots and accessories during a brunch at Keeneland Racecourse. And the Kentucky Gent partnered with Bonobos and Marine Layer for an in-store fitting and shopping spree. All of our partnerships included social media posts across several platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, that accompanied each full blog post.
  5. Extra, extra, extra – These partnerships are about creating lasting relationships. By taking our time in crafting these experiences, we added to our client’s list of influencer relationships. We formed a synergy between all parties that will continue to flourish as time passes. Not to mention, treating bloggers with respect will likely gain you a few added bonuses – like extra photos and promotions at no additional cost!

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Three of our blogger partners during the First Look influencer brunch at Honeywood.

 L to R: Love, Lexington; Glitter & Gingham; HerKentucky.

Media Moves: June 2017

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We love getting – and sharing the latest newsroom scoop. In Media Moves, we highlight changes in journalism and the media both locally and nationally.

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 11.13.26 AMCNN celebrated its 37th anniversary on June 1. Go back in time with Jennifer Wood, senior editor of MentalFloss.com, as she recaps CNN’s first day on the air.
Read more here:

CNN celebrates 37th anniversary

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Washington D.C. bureau chief, Michael Scherer, sat down with min to discuss the details behind his one-of-a-kind story about President Donald Trump. Time magazine recently spent nearly three hours with the president in his private quarters. Scherer shares what it’s now like covering the president and D.C politics.

Read more here:

Behind the Story: Tim’s Intimate Dinner with the President

As news junkies, we love behind-the-scenes looks into news organizations and how they make decisions. We’ve noticed a number of newspapers in recent years, including our local Atlanta Journal-Constitution, offering readers more of this information. The New York Times published an article recently explaining and illustrating the front page before and after F.B.I Director, James B. Comey’s firing. Who knew the front page of The Times starts each day as a hand-drawn sketch on green paper?

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Read more here:

An F.B.I. Director Is Terminated, and a Front Page Is Too

Laura Kern, former executive editor of New York Magazine, is taking on the role of editor-in-chief of Apple News. The popular Apple app does not currently have original content as it pulls top stories from participating media brands. Will Kern turn Apple News into that of a distributive content creator?Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 9.46.41 AM

Read more here:

Apple News Poaches New York Magazine Executive Editor

 

 

 

Three Nights in Vegas at ICSC RECon

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Last weekend, Caroline Wilbert and I along with 37,000 others made our way to Las Vegas for the world’s largest retail real estate convention, ICSC RECon. Over the last few months, we worked with our team to research the latest trends, strategize PR plans, develop digital/social media content and pitch our clients as thought leaders to the 35+ journalists attending the conference and looking for stories. To say the least, we were excited to get our boots on the ground.

We kicked off ICSC RECon on Sunday at the MAXI Awards Ceremony. MAXI Awards recognize the highest caliber of marketing, community outreach, sales promotion and new media efforts within the U.S. retail real estate industry. Between our work with North American Properties, Avalon, Colony Square, Hines and Atlantic Station, we helped our clients bring home eight MAXI awards, including one for innovative PR efforts at Colony Square.

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Liana Moran, Liz Gillespie and Carla Toro pose with six winning MAXI Awards.

After the MAXI Awards Ceremony, we joined the Hartman Simons team for a kick-off party at the Paris Hotel. Here we saw many movers and shakers, including our client Joel Murphy with New Market Properties and Daniel Easton who leads marketing at Atlantic Station.

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Liana Moran, Daniel Easton and Caroline Wilbert celebrate the first night of ICSC RECon at the Hartman Simons party.

On Monday morning we visited various client booths and walked the aisles of the convention. At North American Properties’ booth, the team unveiled its modern new brand and met with the Wall Street Journal to discuss its winning approach to experiential retail.

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North American Properties’ booth features its new purpose-driven brand.

We finished the afternoon with an intriguing panel about the future of food halls – a concept many of our clients are exploring/have recently rolled out, including Bayer Properties’ project The Pzitz.

Tuesday morning began at Franklin Street’s booth, where we met Cary Beale, new Senior Vice President at Franklin Street.

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Cary Beale and Monetha Cobb of Franklin Street.

From there, we met with Jeffrey Bayer of Bayer Properties and the Wall Street Journal to discuss the shrinking middle class and its effects on retail. Both Bayer’s project The Summit at Fritz Farm and North American Properties’ project Avalon were featured in the May issue of Shopping Center Business, which was distributed at the conference.

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Caroline Wilbert and Jeffrey Bayer after talking with the Wall Street Journal.

We then made our way to Ben Carter Enterprises’ booth, where we met Quito Anderson and Bennett Rudder, who are leasing projects in Savannah including The Broughton Street Collection. To tell the story of Broughton Street’s history and recent resurgence, we launched a SlideShare, which has already garnered 11,000 views. The team was also excited to share our recent hit in USA Today, naming Broughton Street one of the top ten best American shopping streets.

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Bennett Rudder, Liana Moran and Quito Anderson at the Ben Carter Enterprises’ booth.

Afterwards we enjoyed a keynote presentation by Barbara Corcoran, who credited PR and the media for playing a major role in the success of her company and brand. Before the keynote began, we caught up with veteran CRE journalist, Ben Johnson.

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Caroline Wilbert and Ben Johnson catch up on the latest CRE news.

We kicked off Tuesday evening with our friends at Imbibe for dinner followed by Franklin Street’s happy hour at Goose Island Pub. We capped the evening off at the Charlie Hendon party, where Caroline convinced me to get a tattoo (don’t worry, it rubbed off the next day).

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Liana Moran and Caroline Wilbert…. No caption needed. 😉

Before flying home Wednesday morning, the GlobeSt article we secured for Joel Murphy and New Market Properties ran, citing “the only thing static about retail is change.”

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And, as a result of a press release we pitched at the convention, Southeast Real Estate Business and Shopping Center Business covered Peachtree Center’s upcoming renovation.

The only client we did not see at the convention was Cooper Carry (their schedules were jam packed with exciting meetings)! But, stay tuned for a provocative SlideShare about eight creative uses for department store shells left behind by sweeping closures across the U.S.

Until next time, Vegas!

 

Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 5/23/17

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photos.medleyphoto.14115631  1. During the height of rush hour on March 30, thick black smoke swelled above Atlanta. First responders sprung to action to tame the massive fire roaring beneath I-85 in Atlanta. According to North American Properties’ Mark Toro, “This breathtaking moment was a shock to our system – a shock our city sorely needed.” In this Atlanta Journal Constitution op-ed, Toro challenges all Atlantans to use the I-85 collapse as a lesson for why we need to commit to expand MARTA and make it a part of our daily commute.

2. Change is afoot in the commercial insurance industry. The forward-looking technology landscape and the growing regulatory environment are reshaping the vital ways in which the industry engages with customers, especially in the U.S. Laura Calugar recently interviewed Franklin Street’s Ted Holler in Commercial Property Executive to discuss how his company had adapted to recent changes.

3. For investors in Amazon, the most important number to remember is 20. When online MW-FM357_amazon_20170511175400_MGsales hit 20 percent of all purchases in a given retail category, a surge in Amazon growth is sure to follow. But not all retailers are falling prey to Amazon’s business model. In this MarketWatch article, Revenue Analytics’ Jared Wiesel said, “Most pockets of retail success today have some sort of protective moat around their business that helps them fend off Amazon.”

4. Recent headlines about Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly have undoubtedly increased awareness regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. With the heightened interest amongst employees regarding workplace rights, Fisher Phillips’ Michelli Rivera says, “Metro Atlanta employers should brace themselves for more sexual harassment-related inquiries.” In this op-ed for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Rivera offers proactive steps that can better protect Atlanta businesses – and hopefully keep them out of the headlines.

5. On the heels of back-to-back grand openings of two major mixed-use developments, the Bayer Properties team arrived at ICSC’s RECon conference in Las Vegas with a fresh viewpoint on how retail is changing and what today’s consumers are seeking. In this Shopping Centers Today article, CEO and president Jeffrey Bayer said, “We are excited to be here this year surrounded by retail experts to learn from each other and discuss the future of the ever-evolving industry.”

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May Digital Updates

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We’re all about keeping up with the digital world at The Wilbert Group and leveraging the newest technologies to help our clients tell their stories. Here’s the latest:

#1 Instagram continues to pull ahead of Snapchat.

On the heels of a disappointing first earnings report for Snap, a new report indicates that the photo-sharing platform is having trouble attracting new users. Downloads for Snapchat in April 2017 fell about 16 percent, while Instagram downloads were up 19 percent. This is significant because Instagram recently unveiled a stories feature its CEO openly admitted was a Snapchat copycat, and it’s proven wildly popular and pulled Snapchat’s heavy Gen Z fan base away. In fact, Instagram announced this morning that it is introducing augmented reality facial filters in yet another Snapchat copycat move.

#2 Facebook celebrates Mother’s Day with a new reaction.

Facebook launched reactions over a year ago, allowing users to let content creators know if their posts made them feel happy, sad, angry, etc. Typically, the reaction options don’t change for holidays or seasonality like, for example, stickers on Instagram, but Facebook broke that pattern for Mother’s Day. About a week ago, a sweet, purple flower emoji appeared among the reaction options, and Facebook rolled out additional options for showing Mom love on her big day, like custom photo frames.

Mother’s Day wasn’t an arbitrary holiday for Facebook to test this feature: People thanking their mothers drove more posts in one day than any other topic, with more than 105 million Mother’s Day posts in 2016. This just goes to show that more people are taking to social media to celebrate special days, and brands need to have a strategy in place to get the most out of a holiday.

#3 Twitter wants to be your 24/7, go-to news source.

 If you’re a casual user, you might not realize that Twitter is struggling, but its shareholders are very aware. In what’s being called an effort to change market perceptions, Twitter is upping its live-streaming game. This move is behind the rest of the market, as Facebook and Instagram have been urging users and brands to “go live” for months, but it appears that Twitter wanted to take its time and make the move into live video carefully, in a way that appeals to both users and advertisers. They’ve struck 12 live streaming content deals with outlets like Bloomberg, Live National and the WNBA to begin this fall, hoping to appeal to millennial cord cutters. For individual users, Twitter and Periscope recently unveiled a new analytics dashboard for live videos in hopes that brands will get on board.

Media Moves: May 2017

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We love getting – and sharing ­ the latest newsroom scoop. In Media Moves, we highlight changes in journalism and the media both locally and nationally

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11Alive hired a new morning host. Cheryl Preheim, a former broadcast host at the NBC affiliate in Denver, Colorado, said she plans to embrace Atlanta and tell stories that connect with people.

Read more about her story here:

New 11Alive morning host embraces Atlanta

As video continues to evolve media companies hurry to adapt. See how companies like Time Inc. and Condé Nast are rethinking their format and distribution strategies to include video.

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As video evolves media companies try to adapt

The New York Times just named former Buisnessweek editor in chief, Ellen Pollack, to top editor of its business section.

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Ellen Pollack named editor of The New York Times business section

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 11.58.01 AMAfter 15 years publishing print editions, Mental Floss magazine decided to go completely digital in 2017. Despite what you may think, the brand argues that shedding its print product opened many new doors.

Read more about this story:

Life after print for Mental Floss

After 40 years of making readers laugh, The New Yorker’s beloved cartoon artist, Bob Mankoff, retired at the end of last month.

Read more about his story:

Bob Mankoff will step down as The New Yorker magazine’s cartoon editor


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Crash and Burn: Lessons from the United Airlines Crisis

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Competing for the title of most hated company in America is obviously the last place any organization wants to be. Yet United Airlines now finds itself in that rarefied air after a public relations disaster of epic proportions that not only will stain the company’s reputation for years to come, but also threatens to undercut its all-important bottom line. A full recap of last week’s event can be found here, but a quick outline will show the train went off the tracks right when United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz “apologized” for “having to re-accommodate” the elderly doctor who was bloodied and manhandled in front of stunned onlookers, and ultimately, millions of online viewers.

Ouch, bam, crash. The bewildering remark was never walked back or corrected in the immediate aftermath, a glaring PR blunder on full display around the globe. If that wasn’t bad enough, Mr. Munoz decided to double down on his awkward stance hours later in a letter he sent to United employees, calling the passenger “disruptive and belligerent” while also managing to praise his employees for going “above and beyond to ensure we fly right”. Like throwing a can of gasoline on a fire, this was a classic and painful example demonstrating how a single blunder or wrongful act by an organization can quickly morph into a full-blown public relations crisis and media circus if mishandled. The most devastating wounds for United and any other organization caught up in these types of situations are always self-inflicted. It’s not the initial blunder or misdeed that can sink you, but rather, the follow-up response.

So what public relations lessons can be learned from the United crisis? Whether the initial problem was caused by an ill-advised decision or events beyond your control doesn’t matter. The correct strategy has a singular focus of putting out the fire ASAP, and sometimes that means your organization must expose itself to short-term pain rather than follow a defensive instinct – which risks much more serious consequences. What you say, or don’t say, in a very narrow time window that opens immediately after the storm begins will likely determine whether the crisis is just a headache that eventually passes or leads to long-term, irreversible damage. A few key principles to remember:

  • Move Quickly: Don’t dilly-dally or stonewall. The story is going to be told by the media with or without your input, especially if you’re playing at the level United Airlines does. Your audience and customers will form an opinion about your company whether they hear from you or not. The sooner you get moving the more likely you will retain at least some control over your own narrative. The first 24 hours of a potential crisis is where success or failure is usually determined. Keep the stream of information flowing, even if it’s just bits and pieces at first.
  • Stick With Facts, Tell The Truth: Some PR specialists may advise you to steer clear of the facts and not admit wrongdoing in hopes of skating through potential disaster. But United Airlines is exhibit A of why this is not a good approach. Acknowledge the facts as they are. United’s original response was that the plane was overbooked. That actually was not true. Passengers were removed to make room for other United employees who needed to get to another city. So they created a credibility issue to complement the viral video that was already doing enough damage. See Lance Armstrong, Paula Deen and other notable figures who chose the lying/denying route. This doesn’t help, and leads into the next key principle of…
  • Apologize: None of us like to admit when we’ve blown it. That’s especially true in the corporate world. But a sincere, forthright and clearly worded apology is probably the number one medicine for stemming the bleeding of a public relations crisis. This is about damage control, not damage avoidance. If Mr. Munoz had originally come out and owned up to what happened, apologized, and immediately assured the public they were taking action to fix the problem, things would not have spiraled out of control. Of course, he did say this the following day, but it was too late by the time of his third statement. The key is to keep it at a mistake (singular), instead of having a pile-up of errors and ensuing controversy.
  • Don’t Ignore/Insult/Accuse Customers: All language geared toward your paying customers should be neutral in tone and non-accusatory. That’s even when they may be in the wrong, though it certainly wasn’t the case with United. The instinct to “circle the wagons” internally can become a major turn-off for a watching public. This would seem like common sense, but for many, it’s not. Approach your communications from the vantage point of working with your customers to solve a problem they’re having and make amends if necessary. The robotic language displayed in United’s initial statement conveyed a tone-deaf stance, and the visuals certainly didn’t help. The opinions of your customers matter. They are the lifeblood of your business after all.

One last note: Don’t become complacent. This can happen in any organization. Oscar Munoz was recently honored as “Communicator of the Year” by PRWeek less than a month before this incident. He had impeccable credentials, incredible resources, and access to some of the top PR minds in the industry. And ultimately, none of that mattered.

By sticking to a few key basics, you’ll be able to successfully navigate any storm, minimize damage, and come out stronger on the other side.