My life – God’s confetti

Our collective journey of life

Reflections on the art of critical thinking February 25, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — sandymama @ 5:52 am
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This course has provided life lessons for me. Critical thinking skills are to be highly valued and utilized with precision. Conducting crisis communication has heightened my critical thinking abilities. I realize I still have a way to go to become a master thinker, but I now know the basics of this art.  

Learning the tactics to not only think critically but applying those principles to help crisis preparedness has been an eye-opener. I will take what I have learned and apply it to the various facets of my work life as well as my home life.  Each life will have to endure crises of some dimension. Utilizing critical thinking strategies can ultimately affect the outcome when one emerges from the crisis.

Public Relations tactics foster positives relations with the target public. “Successful handling of a crisis is 60 percent preparation and 40 percent execution.” (http://www.prsa.org/Intelligence/Tactics/Articles/view/9530/1041/Be_prepared_10_steps_to_take_now_for_crisis_readin#.UwwqjF7zAXw) The above statistics illustrate the necessity in preparedness. This doesn’t just happen this is muscle memory. The process improves with implementation and practice. Consciously choosing to delve deeper and to think outside of the box strengthens the muscle capacity and yields better results.

Many elements of this class resonate with me, three in particular, spokesperson, consistency, & memory and learning. The necessity of choosing and properly training the right spokesperson is imperative. The “face” of the company needs to be well received. They need to be seen as credible. The person themselves as well as their communicated content must be believed for the strategic message to be favorably received.

Another element that spoke to me was that of consistency. Speaking with one collective voice. This is essential to the vitality of the company’s overarching message. If the public hears of dishonest or fragmented content, the crisis will become heightened and this will undoubtedly also add longevity. Everyone in the company needs to be “on the same page.” This must be done with the content as well as the spokesperson delivering the content. Following these tactics will communicate a united front and help bring the crisis to conclusion post haste.

The third item that was of particular interest was that of memory and learning. “Like people, organizations can store information and knowledge for later use. A crisis should not be wasted, because “direct experience with a crisis, although painful, teaches more than even the best scenario ever could.” (Coombs, p. 178) What an insightful perspective. “We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.” (Warren) Let’s utilize the past crises we have emerged from in better equipping us for potential crises in the future.

My faith is the cornerstone in my decision making process. I weigh my decisions against God’s commands. Daily dying to my selfish desires, I must choose His will and way for my life. I must learn from the trials and struggles of yesteryear, cementing them in my memory so I can call on them to guide my current/future path. Proverbs 3:5-6 offers glorious promise: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” 

 

 

 

 

Reference:

Coombs, W. T. 2012. Ongoing Crisis Communication – Planning, Managing,

      and Responding. SAGE Publications Inc., California.

Warren, R. 2011. “The Purpose Driven Life.” Purpose Driven Life. N.p., Web.

 25 Feb. 2014

Scudder, K. (2012, January 3) Be prepared: 10 steps to take now for crisis readiness

 retrieved from:

http://www.prsa.org/Intelligence/Tactics/Articles/view/9530/1041/Be_prepared_10_steps_to_take_now_for_crisis_readin#.UwwqjF7zAXw

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

Post Crisis Evaluation February 20, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — sandymama @ 7:41 am
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There exists is a saying: “All good things must come to an end.” Thankfully the reverse is also true…all negative things must come to an end, such as a crisis. However, when the crisis is over, it is not time to swipe your forehead as you exhale “whew” and pat your back for enduring the crisis. No, it is time for imperative strategy building.

The Crisis Management Team (CMT) must continue their work by conducting the all important evaluation process. Evaluation provides an exceptional opportunity to learn and improve the company’s Crisis Management Plan (CMP). The crisis management performance is the main evaluation. This will reveal the quality of the CMP and the CMT’s ability of execution. Was it properly and productively played-out? All aspects of the crisis management performance need to be looked at in order to determine where the strengths and weaknesses lay.

Data collection is imperative in the post crisis arena. This evaluative data is collected from several sources: stakeholder feedback, media coverage, Internet comments, crisis records, and organizational performance measures. This data provides a full picture of the performance shown by the crisis management team.

Next, the data needs to be organized and analyzed. Evaluation can only be used as a tool if it is properly analyzed; precision is the key to useful evaluations. Look at the details. What was done well and what needs improving? It is suggested “using four major crisis variables: crisis type, crisis phases, systems, and stakeholders. These variables divide the evaluation data into small, discernible units.” (Coombs, p.171)

Understanding the impact evaluation helps safeguard the organization from damage. Reputational factors come into play in this step. Three relevant elements should be assessed. (1) Scoring of the company’s pre and post crisis reputation, (2) The brevity of the media and Internet coverage,  (3) The stakeholder feedback. Reputational rebound can be elevated by providing the necessary media frames. These tell the organization’s side of the story and are highly effectual in shortening the media’s limelight.

All of these evaluation methods need to be utilized as learning tools. They must be committed to the company’s memory. They need to be properly stored and easy to access in the event of necessary retrieval. The text offers caution: “Organizational memory requires a word of warning – do not become a slave to memory…the memory of past crises is both a blessing and a curse. However, the skilled CMT should be able to overcome the blind spot of information acquisition bias.” (Coombs, p. 179) Follow-up is one of the most important post crisis actions that exist. Keeping stakeholders informed is of the utmost importance, as it will alleviate anxious feelings and will enhance the process of reputation building. Crises will befall every company at one time or another. The way the crisis is handled using the CMP and evaluating the performance at the conclusion of the crisis is beneficial to protecting the brand image and maintaining a loyal consumer base.

 

 An excellent example of the evaluation process post crisis is Rebuilding Confidence In Nuclear Energy Post-Fukushima by Hill+Knowlton in 2012. After tsunami waves rendered the nuclear energy facility in Japan useless, safety concerns and record-high nuclear leaks caused critical threats. This was a crisis of epic proportions and it was taking place a world away. Add to it the communication differences, cultural variation, along with emotional issues and you have a recipe for disaster, or with an expertly executed crisis management plan…opportunity.

 

The Fukushima evaluation process was carried out with precision and foresight. The crisis management team maintained favorability (reputation); this was evidenced by poll results. “Opinion polls show majority of Americans once again feel reassured on U.S. nuclear safety.” (http://www.prsa.org/SearchResults/Download/6BW-1211C06/0/Rebuilding_Confidence_In_Nuclear_Energy_Post_Fukus)

Independent experts were hired to conduct leader briefings; this was integral to keeping the stakeholders informed. This CMT made their presence where the stakeholders were and transparently answered their questions. A microsite focused on safety was launched further enhancing communication with target audience members’ all the while offering reassurance.

Fukushima’s organization and analysis of the crisis weren’t clearly spelled-out; it would have been helpful to see that to gain a better understanding. Another item absent from the evaluation process was the memory and learning. The evaluation plan highlights its successes, but the fact is procedures need to be put in place to quicken the response time and help safeguard the steps needing to be taken with future crises. 

Experts were comparing the catastrophic nature of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility plant to that of Chernobyl. However, with the immediate action and the expertise of NEI and Hill+Knowlton credibility was established and the crisis did not escalate to astronomical proportions. The evaluation is professional and adequately illustrates the benefits of actions taken. It just needs the memory and learning aspect. Clearly stating safeguard solutions would be helpful and would bring the entire event full circle.

I have honestly been blessed beyond measure and have not had to face a full-blown crisis in my life as of yet. We have experienced rough incidents and trying challenges though. One that comes to mind is our faulty plumbing. Quest piping was inferior and caused many homeowners financial burdens with the leaks it caused. So much so that a class action lawsuit was filed. We found out about the case too late to partake.

 

We had numerous leaks and as a result damage to our home and possessions. My handy husband would crawl underneath our home each time there was a leak and fix it. The problem was the new fitting would eventually cause stress further down the pipe causing additional bursts in different locations. From time to time we would seek an estimate for repiping our whole home. The estimates were in the $5,000.00 range and we just could not manage it. After about the seventh patch in 6 months, my husband put his foot down and said the pipes had to be replaced and be replaced now! He called for a plumber to come assess the situation. After conversing with the plumber my husband came in to give me the damage, $3,700.00 with an immediate 10% down (we had been trying to save for a car for our second daughter and that money would now need to be the down payment for the repiping in stead of the down payment for the car). The remainder of the bill needed to be paid off in 6 months or the interest rate (APR) would jump to 26.9%. I was distraught, as I knew there was no way we would be able to pay off this sizable of a debt that quickly. Well there is one area that God allows you to test him in and that is in the area of money. Luke 6:38 says: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” When I look back on that incident and evaluate the process, I see God’s handiwork over and over. Yes, it was a major setback, not only the money factor but also the car factor. In spite of it all, we continued to be obedient in our tithing and we sacrificed to aggressively throw money at that debt. We had our entire community group continuously pray with us. And as we partnered with God, the impossible became possible. We paid off that debt within the six months and as such incurred no interest. We don’t have to continue wasting money on patches for burst pipes. And, God also helped in providing a car for Savannah on her Baccalaureate day. Our post crisis evaluation keeps our focus upward, a heavenly gaze. We will not turn to the left or the right but will keep our eyes fixed on Him. We will continue to be obedient and to “test” God with our money.  

Reference:

 

Coombs, W. T. 2012. Ongoing Crisis Communication – Planning, Managing,

and Responding. SAGE Publications Inc., California.

Post crisis evaluation example retrieved from:

 http://www.prsa.org/SearchResults/Download/6BW-

1211C06/0/Rebuilding_Confidence_In_Nuclear_Energy_Post_Fukushima

 

Crisis Response February 13, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — sandymama @ 7:40 am
Tags:

            Crisis response is imperative to maintaining/rebuilding an organization’s reputation.  The appropriate response is more likely to happen when the company has a crisis management plan (CMP) in place. With practice, crisis response can transpire with more finesse. The company’s crisis management team (CMT) must look at the situation from the perspective of the stakeholder to properly judge whether an actual crisis has taken place. “With the widespread use of social media and cameras, everyone knows what’s going on as the crisis unfolds, therefore immediacy is key. Keep in mind that a crisis creates a unique opportunity to connect with your central audience. Continue with your brand’s key messages and continue to engage – at this point you have their undivided attention.” (http://blog.newswire.ca/wordpress-mu/2013/11/26/webinar-recap-the-steps-to-effective-crisis-communications-planning/)

            Social media played a big part in one of Applebee’s crises. An upset waitress took a photo of a rude comment left by a customer (a pastor at that) and posted it on the Reddit site. “Managers do consider negative information appearing in social media as legitimate threats to the reputations of the organizations…social media can be a warning sign for a problem that has the opportunity to grow into a full-scale crisis.” (Coombs, p. 23) The disciplinary action that took place was Applebee’s fired the waitress for violation of customer privacy. This might have been a logical consequence had Applebee’s themselves not posted a receipt a mere two weeks prior (boasting a compliment written by a customer). This incident went viral, causing a huge backlash for Applebee’s choice. “However, the nature of the Internet is that ideas from seemingly unimportant sources can spread rapidly, thereby creating the potential for a crisis.” (Coombs, p. 25)

             Applebee’s spokesperson responded on their Facebook page with a small post maintaining their stance. This post rapidly caused over 10,000 comments (most negative). The spokesperson then thought redundancy was the way to go and began posting the same comment again and again. Some pointed fingers at Applebee’s accusing them of blocking users and hiding negative comments. “Regular two-way communication between the organization and stakeholders is the lifeblood of a favorable organizational-stakeholder relationship. Remembering the importance of communicating with stakeholders aids the crisis management team in its efforts to contain and recover from the crisis.” (Coombs, p.168) Communication needs to be tactful, empathic, as well as seeking a favorable resolve, this was not the case with Applebee’s spokesperson’s communication content.

            Negative or undesirable outcomes are the potential results of crises. “A reputation is how stakeholders perceive the organization. When expectations are breached, stakeholders perceived the organization less positively; the reputation is harmed.” (Coombs, p.3) Applebee’s reputation was absolutely tarnished as the crisis continued its downward spiral. Applebee’s persistently defended their actions and then began arguing with users. “Managing an issue involves attempts to shape how the issue is resolved.” (Coombs, p.32) After receiving a slew of negative comments, the company decided to “hide” the post. This was a severe mistake, as it only fanned the flames of the anger already present.

            Striving to strategically resolve a crisis depends on the crisis response approach. A lot of that has to do with the persuasiveness of the message given. It must be presented with credibility, showing the company’s trustworthiness. This was not the case with Applebee’s. Admission of their hastiness and similar mistake should have been honestly portrayed. Another element needed for the strategic message to be persuasive is the emotion it carries. It needs to authentic and attention catching.  Applebee’s argumentative and defensive nature snowballed the entire incident and illustrated a lack of transparency. The third element needed for the message to persuade is for it to be filled with reason. At the heart of the message, it must be logical for it to be well received by the stakeholders. An illogical crisis response is to argue with Facebook users, no resolution is found in this approach, and it wreaks havoc on the company’s reputation.

The Bible clearly states in Matthew 22:21: “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” This is to mean that we are to pay our dues and debts. When a large party eats at a restaurant, the waitress has additional pressures and stress placed on her to “perform,” getting all order items correct, bringing the meals out together, keeping everyone’s glasses filled, etc. For the heightened performance, an additional tip is a small way to show gratitude. I too disagree with the mandatory inclusion of the higher tip, however, the fact is if people were generous without having to be told so it would never have had to be implemented. The Bible also says that God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). As Christians, we are to be the salt and light of the world. We should shine Christ’s light, love, and generosity to others and that “pastor” made a mockery of Christ follower’s. She did a disservice to the faith; not only pointing out something the waitress probably had no understanding of, but also proceeding to leave no tip at all! In my opinion, Applebee’s and the patron are the real villains’ in this crisis situation, not the waitress who was fired for sharing the fact that she was “stiffed” on a tip.

 https://i0.wp.com/oursocialtimes.com/wp-content/uploads//2013/02/applebees.png

 

Reference:

http://blog.newswire.ca/wordpress-mu/2013/11/26/webinar-recap-

            the-steps-to-effective-crisis-communications-planning/

Coombs, W. T. 2012. Ongoing Crisis Communication – Planning,

            Managing, and Responding. SAGE Publications, Inc. California.  

http://oursocialtimes.com/6-examples-of-social-media-crises-what-

            can-we-learn/

 

Crisis Preparation February 2, 2014

Filed under: PR — sandymama @ 5:15 am
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This week is part two of crisis preparation.  We learn that the Crisis management plan or CMP ought to be precisely crafted BEFORE a crisis hits. “While important, a CMP is not a magic insurance policy that protects an organization from a crisis. Nor is it a step-by-step set of instructions for what to do when a crisis hits.” (Coombs p.99) The crisis communications system needs to be continually updated to work effectively. This plan establishes when and how to correspond during the crisis. The communication system is useless if it is not up to date and containing accurate information/contact listings.The crisis management plan and the crisis management team need to always be in a state of preparedness for crisis, this only happens with the the entire plan being reviewed (enacted) on a regular basis.

From the supplemental readings I discovered that “successful handling of a crisis is 60 percent preparation and 40 percent execution. Those statistics should be a wake-up call for organizations. The question isn’t if a crisis will happen, it’s when will it happen. Being proactive and prepared is the best practices policy for crisis management. Although creating a CMP won’t keep a company from experiencing a crisis, nor can every crisis scenario be put to paper; but as one can see from the statistics above, it can and will help successfully usher a company through the process.

Virgin America goes social and personal with new IFE system

I believe Virgin Airlines is on to something big with their new announcement of implementing Chatter into the inner workings of the operation. You can watch the 15 minute 14 second video introduction here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UY7YsRDLQz8&list=PL_zETKbWKRwRZzFyRxEns2xRdtvtsjm9I&index=4 Those companies on the rise are the ones not only staying up on the latest trends, it’s the companies pressing into ‘the up and coming’ trends that will have the attention and therefore the money of the consumer. Virgin Airlines obviously gets this strategy and is therefore pushing the technology envelope with this new feature. Basically, your screen in the seatback will personally welcome you, set your preferences, and allow you to utilize it as you would a computer or tablet. It is very interactive. If for some reason making your connecting flight becomes an issue Chatter will provide you with solutions, ushering in relief and a sense of calm. This is an amazing installation of technology to say the least. However, what I also thought of when watching the intro video was the effectiveness it could have on crisis management. Chaos tends to ensue when those involved in a crisis are “kept in the dark.” Part of the problem in a crisis is properly and quickly disseminating accurate information to the stakeholders. This system could be an instrumental tool in the area of crisis communication. I believe we will see more and more companies (not just airlines) begin to utilize this interactive system.

Crisis management is executed productively when our minds are focused on the task at hand. Just as was evidenced by Moses in Exodus 17 when the Israelites were at war with the Amaleks. He had to focus on the present. Not what might happen in the future, nor what has happened in the past. What do you think would have happened to the Israelites had Moses’ mind been focused on his past struggles with Pharaoh? They would have perished! Moses needed to keep his mind fixed. Moses had a plan, but he also needed helpers (a team). “As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of the Amalek in battle. Exodus 17:11-13 Just as in the case of Moses and the battle of the Israelites and Amaleks, a crisis management plan will prosper with a proper crisis management team in place. Moses had his team of Aaron and Hur to see the battle through to end and they were met with success. Who will you put in place to see to it your crisis management plan will succeed when a crisis arises?

http://www.airlinetrends.com/2012/10/17/virgin-america-chatter-social-personal-ife-system/

 

Wayward Teen Stars January 26, 2014

Filed under: PR — sandymama @ 6:22 pm

In preparing for a crisis, the organization must anticipate the probability of a crisis happening to them. With this in mind, organizations are wise to create what is known as a Crisis Management Plan or CMP. This is not an exhaustive plan, however, it is best practices in preparing for the worst that could befall your company. This plan comes about with brainstorming all imaginable crises and then assessing how each of the crises would be effectively handled. This plan must be practiced periodically and updated as new crises situations are brought to the table.

Organizations need to diagnose vulnerabilities in order to assess the probability and impact potential crises may have organizationally. No organization can prepare for all crises however they can ready themselves for major crisis types. This information is then used to create the crisis portfolio. This is the individual crisis plan for each respective major crisis type.

Another imperative action plan in the CMP is collecting a top-notch Crisis Management Team or CMT. This group consists of employees who will be selected on desired characteristics in handling crises. When the team has been successfully selected they must be properly trained. From this training, these individuals will be equipped to spring into action once a crisis hits and properly manage it. A key position among the CMT is the spokesperson. They provide a vital link to stakeholders. Once again, the person holding this position must be carefully selected and carefully trained. “Failure to select and train crisis team members and spokespersons methodically is a recipe for disastrous crisis management. In addition, a crisis tram is lost without a crisis management plan.” (Coombs, p.96) Understanding how vital these two components are to safeguarding the organization should inspire all companies to act with urgency in its creation. “Remember, if a team does not exercise, an organization does not really have a dependable CMT or CMP.” (Coombs p. 85)

The conception of wikileaks has put ALL organizations on high alert, needing to exercise caution in all business dealings. This site has wreaked havoc for many companies and doesn’t seem to be losing momentum. It’s anybody guess who’s next on their ‘hit list.’  Wikileaks jumped on the Bieber bandwagon this week with their tweets regarding the incident. 19-year-old Justin Bieber was arrested early Thursday morning in Miami. Charged for driving under the influence and non-violently resisting arrest as well as driving with an expired license.

Justin Bieber’s situation definitely serves as a brand crisis. Although the young pop star doesn’t seem to be too concerned with being caught drag racing, this can damage his reputation. “He’s not the sugary sweet guy that we were first introduced to, he’s also gaining street cred for bad boy behavior.” (www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/justin-bieber-arrest-dui-drag-racing-charges-major-pr-crisis-experts-article-1.1589367) “The arrest is just the latest in a string of scandals linked to the Biebs.” (www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/01/23/justin-bieber-reportedly-arrested-in-miami-beach/) If this young star is going to rebuild and solidify the reputation that has kept him in the #1 spot on the music charts, his brand is in dire need of a crisis management team, plan, and strategic brand spokesperson. Recently Miley Cyrus was also allegedly caught drag racing, although it seems more realistic that she was goofing around (being that she was in a Smart Car and all). What goes awry with these young stars? Is the fame too much to handle? I feel it’s more likely the excess money, prideful demeanor, and disproportionate freedoms allowed them. It reminds me of the Prodigal son from the Bible:

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

I pray first of all that our young impressionable minds wouldn’t look up to the likes of these individuals as role models. Secondly, I pray that these ‘stars’ would be prodigal children, who recognize the mistakes they’ve made and with humility make their way ‘home’ before it’s too late. 

Links:

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/01/23/justin-bieber-reportedly-arrested-in-miami-beach/

twitter.com/wikileaks/status/207098463693979648

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+15&version=NIV

radaronline.com/exclusives/2014/01/miley-cyrus-drag-racing-smart-car/

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/justin-bieber-arrest-dui-drag-racing-charges-major-pr-crisis-experts-article-1.1589367

 

The Crisis Prevention Process and Haribo gummi bears January 20, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — sandymama @ 5:24 am

          The crisis prevention process is extremely important in the field of public relations. It is a proactive step that should always be included in every company’s crisis prevention plan. Keeping this plan on file and periodically running mock situations to test their effectiveness is essential. “Issues and reputation management emphasize external threats, while risk management has more of an internal focus.” (Coombs p. 47) Understanding where to scan for potential crises and how to combat them are the primary factors held within the crisis prevention process.

          Risk management has an internal focus and must be highly effectual in protecting the organization from crises. Case in point…the Haribo sugarfree gummi bears. Haribo may feel they effectively covered themselves by placing the statement: “Consumption of some sugar-free candies may cause stomach discomfort and/or a laxative effect. Individual tolerance may vary. If this is the first time you’ve tried these candies, we recommend beginning with one-fourth of a serving size or less.” (Haribo package label listed on Amazon.com) However, the reviews on Amazon would concretely stand against Haribo’s notion of properly protecting itself.

 

         I would assume individuals purchasing this product are most likely diabetic or watching their weight and as such seek a substitute for sugar-laden sweets. Having a sugar-free and therefore guilt-free option is highly desired. So, when Amazon offered their sugar-free gummi bears, many purchased these treats to satisfy their sweet tooth, but they got much more than they bargained for. As a side note, who really reads the candy label before they consume it? This crisis might teach consumers to do just that; read the cautionary tale enclosed on the flip side of your favorite snack.

         The reviews of the woes of the toilet bowls were quite descriptive and numerous on the Amazon site. This was the source to scan for the impending crisis that was a-brewing. “Admittedly, most of social media is of little interest to anyone. However, it is a potentially powerful form of word-or-mouth information distribution. Word of mouth is recognized as serious force that can shape consumer decisions; hence it should not be ignored.” (Coombs p. 49) This is particularly true for the word-of-mouth reviews on these little bears of bathroom blasts. The Lycasin (hydrogenated glucose syrup) is the first item listed among the gummi ingredients. “Lycasin, consists mainly of maltitol, a sugar alcohol that is almost as sweet as table sugar but half as caloric. Maltitol is great because it doesn’t cause cavities, but not so great because our bodies can’t fully digest it, so it can ferment in the gut. The known side effects of the excessive consumption of lycasin are bloating, flatulence, loose stools, and borborygmi, the scientific term for tummy-rumbling.” (http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/01/whats-in-those-haribo-gummy-bears/283162/)

         “By assessing the threat information, crisis managers create knowledge. That knowledge is an understanding of how important each threat might be to the organization.” (Coombs p. 63) By utilizing the crisis-sensing mechanism, an organization can find the knowledge needed to create company safeguards. This system “attempts to create a repository of warning signs knowledge by locating, collating, and analyzing the crisis risk information or existing crisis knowledge.” (Coombs p. 64) Haribo seemingly has not heard of the crisis prevention process, as a search for a company statement pertaining to this situation comes up void. This incident should be viewed as a crisis and as such handled in a proactive manner. Even if “mum” is the word from Haribo, the following review titles should provide a cautionary glimpse of the concern as to the dose of gummi bears for future consumption (full reviews available on Amazon.com). Enjoy…

“Slow painful death by gummi bears in an airplane bathroom”

 

“Just don’t. Unless it’s for someone you hate.”

 

“Like my stomach was terrorized by a 5 pound pack of wild bears”

 

“Apocalypse”

 

“Groan”

 

“Be sure to buy Oxyclean too!”

 

“Fully weaponized gummy bears”

 

“Gastrointestinal Armageddon”

 

 

Reference:

 

Coombs, W. T. 2012. Ongoing Crisis Communication – Planning,

 Managing, and Responding. SAGE Publications, Inc. California.

 

Lycasin definition retrieved from:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/01/whats-in-those-haribo-gummy-bears/283162/

 

Haribo package label and reviews retrieved from: http://www.amazon.com/Haribo-

Gummy-Candy-Sugarless-5-Pound/dp/B000EVQWKC

 

 

 

 

Crisis Communication January 9, 2014

Filed under: PR — sandymama @ 2:45 am

The Oxforddictionaries defines bitcoin:

noun

  • a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank:I don’t know if bitcoin is destined to succeed as the global currency
  • a unit of bitcoin:bitcoins can be used for online transactions between individuals

Origin:

early 21st century: from bit4 + coin

Bitcoin has is not “the new kid on the block,” however, its popularity has recently skyrocketed. It is been said that the price of a bitcoin is now standing at $1,000, the cost one year ago was a mere $12. The price of popularity also brings scrutiny and scams, bitcoin is not exempt. The bitcoin phenomenon began in 2008, but has just recently gained high notoriety. With this virtual currencies acclaim, some people aim to see regulations put in place. Countries such as Scandinavia, Denmark, and Norway are striving to protect the virtual currency from entering a legal gray zone and possibly being lost to outsiders forever. How does the loss occur? I don’t fully understand this action myself, however tech savvy individuals are creating ‘mining’ software that mines for these precious bitcoins round the clock and once a bitcoin or fraction there of is located the miner is free to take ownership of it and call it their own.
Anytime money is at stake, high alert status kicks in. A portion of the high alert status needs to be that of issue management from a company’s perspective. “Issues management means taking steps to prevent a problem from maturing into a crisis. Risk management eliminates or lowers risk levels.” (Coombs, p. 12) Scandinavia is conducting issues management by drafting new rules which they hope to use as a prevention tool for their country, to keep from falling prey to the numerous miners seeking Scandinavian bitcoin. Likewise Denmark is drafting measures to protect its consumers from risks associated with this particular virtual currency. How far will people go to get their virtual hands on the oh-so-popular currency? This bitcoin situation reminds me of Judas Iscraiot and his unhealthy addition to money. The miners out there are wanting something for free, likewise Judas Iscraiot wanted wealth and ultimately sacrificed his life for his greed.

As with any trend, you will find the early-adopters, the nay-Sayers, and the charlatans. Which are you?

 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-19/jpmorgan-denmark-bitcoins-eu-securities-compliance.html

 

Breastfeeding August 14, 2013

Filed under: PR — sandymama @ 8:16 pm

This can become a very heated issue (as it did between my husband and myself), so I will speak for myself. I believe society has tremendously objectified the female body. And as such this situation has become an issue. Most think it is completely appropriate to walk around with some much cleavage that the areola is about to pop out and say hello, which is considered sexy; however when a woman is using her breast to nourish her child as was intended by God, all of a sudden it’s indecent and disgusting. Illustrating the ridiculous shift in our culture. I do think discretion should be used. Perhaps celebrity moms’ speaking out in favor of breastfeeding can help re-shift the mindset of the mainstream society and stop making a mountain out of a molehill.

http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/chick-fil-a-nurse-in-stands-up-for-public-breastfeeding-171256622.html

 

Mass text!

Filed under: PR — sandymama @ 8:15 pm

I was so annoyed! Last night, beginning about 9:30PM I was sent the following text: “Hey come to my record release at the Fox Theater…” It didn’t even say whom it was from/for. It was sent to me and 221 other phone numbers! Then, you guessed it, my phone started ‘blowin up’ with text after text! It is now after 10:00PM and every few minutes another text. As you might imagine a lot of the responses were negative: “who is this,” “stop,” “take me off,” “please just stop,” “can everyone text ——– directly and do not reply on the group text thanks,” “Omg this is a mass txt! there is like 45 people on here so stop texting please.”  This continued on until 4:30AM. This incident reminds me of an earlier post of mine when Musical Artist James Blunt did a mass email to promote his new single, it enraged a lot of people. Some say there is no such thing as Bad PR, I would bet that today all of the sleep deprived individuals would disagree. Social media is a wonderful tool, but must be used with common sense and courtesy.

 

To Land a Job…

Filed under: PR — sandymama @ 7:56 pm

Nowadays employers require a broader range of skills from college students. They want to see that they are academically well-rounded and can be critical thinkers. Specifically employers are seeking out individuals who can speak well in public, compose a grammatically correct business email, and perform mathematical operations beyond addition and subtraction. With this in mind, the following are six college courses that should be taken, they can become stepping stones in the direction of acquiring a fulfilling career.

1. STEM classes (An acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics)

2. Internship

3. Business and economics

4. Theater arts

5. Professional Writing

6. Leadership Studies

For the entire article: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/land-job-six-college-courses-110000634.html