Corporate Branding Digest, April 18, 2016

‘Pure Michigan’ Campaign Under Fire as Water Crisis Worsens
(Ragan’s PR Daily, 11.04.16)

As scrutiny surrounding the lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, increased this week, PR pros took to social media to express dismay at the state’s seemingly tone-deaf continuation of its “Pure Michigan” tourism campaign.

Communications Teams Must Plan for Crisis, Former American Airlines Executive Andrea Huguely Urges
(Tulsa World, 31.03.16)

Failing to plan is planning to fail, crisis communications consultant Andrea Huguely said during her presentation at the Tulsa Chapter of The Association for Women in Communications’ workshop Wednesday morning.

Crisis of the Week: Valeant Effort at Communication Under Microscope
(The Wall Street Journal, 28.03.16)

Valeant Pharmaceuticals is in the crisis spotlight this week, after announcing it was starting a search for a new chief executive, naming activist investor William Ackman to its board and blaming some of its problems on its former chief financial officer, Howard Schiller, who then responded to the company’s allegations against him. The company admitted “tone at the top of the organization” may have been a factor in its “improper revenue recognition.”

Engaging and Informing Employees During a Crisis
(Fei Daily, 23.03.16)

Most crisis communication plans depend at least somewhat on the ability and willingness of employees to come to work – but that assumption may not be valid.

“If it’s going to come out eventually, better have it come out immediately.” —Henry A. Kissinger

The Color of Fall Is Pink

[Originally posted on Mommy Lens.]

When many think about the changing of the season, they picture the greens, red and golds that make up the beautiful fall foliage. But with October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it’s gotten awfully hard not to think pink.

Numerous companies have jumped on the pink bandwagon and, according to The New York Times, “the pinking of America has become a multibillion-dollar business, a marketing, merchandising and fund-raising opportunity that is almost unrivaled in scope.” While some of the brand tie-ins seem silly or gratuitous, it’s hard to argue with the $420 million raised by Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 2010 alone.

The Ford Motor Co. (one of our clients) donates 100 percent of the proceeds of its Warriors in Pink gear to Komen and during the month of October donated $1 per “like” of its Ford Warriors in Pink Facebook page. Martina McBride launched her new album, “Eleven,” with a cross-country train tour on the Pink Together Express powered by Amtrak (another client), culminating with a performance atop the Empire State Building and lighting of the building in pink, all to raise breast cancer awareness. Then you have the NFL, whose games featured players, coaches and referees wearing pink game apparel, on-field pink ribbon stencils, special game balls and pink coins, all to support the fight against breast cancer.

But my favorite pink campaign this year was by American Airlines. I stumbled upon its efforts by happenstance; as I boarded my flight from NYC to Chicago, I was handed a pink-and-white airplane-shaped cookie asking me to #tweetthecure. Not realizing that I was flying on the day of the airline’s global, systemwide “Pink Out,” I was surprised and, I have to admit, delighted, when I walked through O’Hare enjoying the creatively decorated ticket counters and gates. My two favorites were a pink bowling alley asking customers to help “Strike Out Cancer” and a photo display of employees’ pets called “Paws for Pink.”

The energy and enthusiasm of American’s employees for the cause was catching. I found myself lingering in the airport and photographing their displays. I joined their efforts to raise $1 million for breast cancer research with a donation of my own. And, as a testament that pink marketing can really make a difference, I attempted to switch my return flight from a competing airline (but, alas, my ticket was nonrefundable).

What pink efforts did you enjoy this October?