PR Contest: How many other ways could the IRS have confessed its improper audits of Tea Party names?
joking aside, what the IRS auditors did in targeting Tea Party groups was just
dumb, dumber and dumbest.
worse was their PR “plan” to tell the world via a planted question at an
American Bar Association meeting.
not truly dumb, then it falls into the category of “What were they thinking?”
the IRS knew it was going to get a PR “audit” for its stupidity, they schemed
for a “spontaneous” question which would then allow an IRS official to
apologize for its actions. Didn’t they think a public statement in a room
of lawyers in Washington, DC would hit the media fast? Well it only took
about 10 minutes for the first article to appear then the viral fire storm
PR pro could have given them 10 other strategies for divulging the news instead
of a planted question.
question now is what’s the road back from this scandal and brouhaha? It
won’t be easy and I would not recommend using the tax payers’ money for an ad,
image or PR campaign. Yet a trusted IRS is actually critical to a smooth
functioning country. After the dust settles, the IRS should look at other
scandals and crises and develop ways to gain public confidence. Anyone
Labels: Audit, Crisis Communications Training, crisis response training, IRS, leadership development training, public relations, Tea Party
What NOT to Assume About Controversial Quotes
Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries' comments in an interview about how he doesn't want plus-sized girls and "losers" shopping in his stores has angered a lot of
people, particularly moms.
communications perspective, it is a great example and reminder about the
permanence of public comments. After
all, Jefferies made these comments 7
in a 2006 interview with Salon Magazine. Yet my Facebook posts are lighting up about it
and the following story
ran this week
comments are like flames that may settle into embers, but are never reduced to
ashes - they can flare up again anytime.
important reminder about controversial comments is the assumption that people
often make - that they were delivered in error.
There is a
healthy, ongoing debate on this point.
Are these controversial comments haunting Jefferies or do they result in
coveted publicity for the Abercrombie brand? Do these comments actually drive "cool" kids - or those who want to be - to stores with a renewed vigor, or do they push would-be customers away in
disgust? Is Jefferies emboldening his
base while upsetting those who will never shop at A&F anyway?
Jefferies is brilliant. Some say he's an
idiot who is part of what is wrong with society.
I wonder (sadly) if getting a boycott petition flying through cyberspace can be a boon for this
Labels: Abercrombie and Fitch, CommCore, Communications, Controversial Issues, Interview, Mike Jeffries, public relations
Getting Good Ink
story on low morale among federal workers on NPR's Morning Edition
this morning contained one of those memorable quotes of the type that we at CommCore work
with our clients to create.
story focused on how dispirited federal workers feel about the low esteem in which
they are held by the public and by Congress. It wrapped up with the following
quote by Munsey on his futile efforts to stand up for his members against
attacks from all corners: "[I]t's like trying to fight an octopus in a cave,
underground, that has just squirted you with ink."
Of all the spokespeople from several
agencies quoted in the piece, that's the one that stuck out, and for good
It was pertinent to the situation
It projected the spokesperson’s feelings
Reporters and bloggers will notice a
good quote that illustrates their story, or supports and illustrates technical data, the moment
they hear it. In their head that's already the sound-bite that becomes a
bumper, or a tease, on a news broadcast; a boxed call-out in a newspaper
article; or a viral social media sensation.
And being ready to deliver them naturally
and effectively when the opportunity arises requires preparation and training.
Labels: CommCore, Communications, Darryl Munsey, federal worker morale, National Archives and Records Administration, NPR, Office of Personnel Management, public relations, quotes, sound bites
OMG! Private Rants Are Public
One of the more recent viral
involves the leaked email rant from a University of
Maryland sorority sister.
profane-laced letter quickly went
and is now one of the more popular
(move over grumpy cat) spawning photos, hilarious videos
It seems that Millennials are no different when it comes to
underestimating the viral power of the internet.
of “leaked emails” turns up pages of examples from Matt Lauer
In the “old days”- ten years ago, we always stressed to our clients that
anything said in public could end up in the Wall Street Journal. Now it’s more important than ever to
understand that any form of communications: from panel discussions at a
conference, to a company email, or a personal tweet can pick up momentum and
roll through the internet at the speed of fiber optic light.
It’s a safe bet that the author of the now
famous sorority rant never imagined that her email would be the subject of a
dramatic reading on Funny
Labels: CommCore, CommCore Dallas, crisis communications, dale weiss, Funny or Die, Grumpy Cat, media training, Sorority Rant, University of Maryland, Wall Street Journal