Archive for Crisis Communications

PwC Oscars Moonlight La La Land

OMG! Oscar Blooper Tarnishes PwC Brand

It was one of the worst screw-ups in the history of the Oscars. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and its predecessor firms have been tallying Oscar votes and preparing “the envelope, please” for 83 years. The assignment gives the firm access to entertainment power brokers and burnishes its brand. That is, until last night.

What would you do if your firm had made such a big blooper and gave the wrong envelope to the presenters who first announced that La La Land had won the Best Picture Oscar when it was actually Moonlight that won? Read More→

Volkswagen beetle, deisel cards

How Could You Cheat on Us Like You Did, Volkswagen?

Volkswagen made headlines yesterday when company officials admitted they had installed software on diesel vehicles to cheat on emissions tests required to comply with federal regulations. Its brand reputation and stock price sank, and deservedly so.

A Place in Our Hearts

The first Volkswagen “Beetle” entered the U.S. market in January 1949. Since then, more than 5.5 million Beetle models have been sold in the U.S., according to the company. Read More→

Microsoft Needs a Lesson in Public Relations

shy guy cartoon illustration

Did I write that?

It never ceases to amaze me that billion-dollar companies like Microsoft that can afford the best PR advice mess up their public relations so badly.

Much has been written already about the incoherent and insensitive letter sent to employees in the Microsoft Devices Group that meandered around until it finally got to the real message towards the bottom of the post.

The company is going to lay off 12,500 employees.

The letter came from Stephen Elop, former Nokia chief executive, and now head of Microsoft digital. Read More→

Is This a New Trend – the Public Firing of Employees?

The CEO of AOL made news – the kind he didn’t want – when he fired the creative director of Patch, the local news service AOL runs for hundreds of towns.

Oh, and did I mention, he fired Abel Lenz on a conference call with 1,000 employees. CEO Tim Armstrong was describing the planned layoffs at the under-performing Patch. More than once he tells employees they should quit the company if they think this is a “joke.”

The public firing takes place at about the 2-minute mark, in the video below, in which he stops to say, “Abel, put that camera down right now! Abel, you’re fired. Out!”  Naturally, Twitter was on fire with comments on the hashtag #timarmstrong.

A Public Apology

The public brouhaha forced Armstrong to issue an apology to employees (which went public, of course) in which he said, Read More→