Corporate Branding Digest, Aug. 8, 2016

Massive Delta Outage Highlights Need for Quality Center Power Backup Plans
(TechRepublic, 08.08.16)

Business leaders must prepare for disasters made by man or Mother Nature with extensive, practiced recovery plans to avoid system shutdowns.

Crisis Risk in Rio: Business Must Play, too
(Huffington Post, 05.08.16)

My colleague, John Larsen, and I have worked with dozens of Olympic sponsors on crisis preparedness and response over the last two decades. And while the Rio Olympics have focused much attention state of preparation, it is easy to forget about the extraordinary behind-the-scenes efforts around crisis and security planning. But, in reality, crisis response for an Olympic games is largely a communications sport.

Studies Examine Twitter’s Growing Importance in Crisis Communications
(The Holmes Report, 01.08.16)

Two new studies underscore the importance of Twitter in both the start and spread of crises and the way in which people respond.

Six Strategies for Reacting to a Crisis Communications Situation
(Forbes, 19.05.16)

When dealing with a crisis communications situation, all businesses should have a plan in place ahead of time so they can react and respond immediately, thus preventing the situation from getting out of hand.

“We’ve got to be judged by how we do in times of crisis.” —Johnnie Cochran

Corporate Branding Digest, July 18, 2016

Majority of Crises Are Self-Inflicted
(The Holmes Report, 17.07.16)

More than three-quarters (78 percent) of PR crises are caused by a communications or marketing error rather than external disruptions or attacks, according to new research from media monitoring platform Visibrain, which was launched in conjunction with the company’s Best Practice Guide for Media Monitoring.

How Your Corporate Culture Can Strengthen Your Marketing Efforts
(Business2Community, 12.07.16)

Corporate culture is a huge part of running a company. You need to have the right culture in place so you can improve morale and retain your employees. What you may not have known is that corporate culture also matters for engaging your audience.

13 Worst Crisis Communications Mistakes
(Mumbrella, 23.06.16)

There are 13 key elements to creating a successful crisis communications strategy. Tony Jaques provides tongue-in-cheek examples of how companies continue to get even the basics wrong.

6 Signs Marketing Is in a Mobile Engagement Crisis
(Marketing Land, 23.03.16)

Columnist Josh Todd says the “good enough” approach to mobile is no longer an option. Marketers need to innovate and provide mobile audiences with a personalized, relevant experience.

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” —Rahm Emanuel

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

Corporate Branding Digest, January 11, 2016

4 Tips to Fully Integrate Your Company’s Branding, Marketing and Strategic Vision
(Business2Community, 09.01.16)

How’s your digital strategy looking these days? If not so good, there’s hope. Fortunately, creating a comprehensive digital strategic vision isn’t only possible, it’s eminently achievable. All you need to do is integrate the core aspects of your company’s client-facing machinery: your online and offline branding, your marketing efforts and your overarching strategy.

The Big Brand Theory
(Business Observer, 08.01.16)

Humanity will forever be a story-based culture. Brands are stories within themselves: a story of the company, the product or service, and how the consumer fits into the brand story. Branding will evolve along with technology, society and communication trends; it won’t fade away into obscurity any time soon. Seeing as there are brand consultancies and a plethora of design consultancies adding brand work to their services list, it would take extensive cultural-wide shifts in media and product consumption to make branding irrelevant.

For Business Leaders, Twitter Proving a Powerful Communications Tool
(PRWeek, 14.12.15)

CEOs are increasingly seeing the value of communicating directly about business announcements, crisis comms and personal thoughts, says senior Twitter exec.

5 Tips on Using Snapchat for Employer Branding
(The Huffington Post, 28.07.15)

The truth is, there’s no big secret when it comes to using Snapchat to build out your employer brand but I do have 5 tips to share that anyone with an account can quickly start implementing to rev things up.

“We will stop at nothing and nobody. For us, the only thing that counts is the truth.” —Matthias Muller

Corporate Branding Digest, December 7, 2015

Crisis Management in the Digital World
(BizCommunity, 26.08.14)

Whether you are reading about the Volkswagen emissions scandal, #[insertgrievancehere]mustfall, or another link bait headline by Donald Trump, it becomes clear that crisis communication has changed irrevocably in the age of digital.

Crisis Management 101: Did Writing Fake Reviews Help or Hurt Bell Mobility?
(Business2Community, 05.11.15)

When things are going well for a brand on social media, the benefits are easy to measure: an uptick in sales, boom in referral traffic, increased activity on traceable links. When things are going poorly, the silence can be deafening… and difficult to track. Especially if your brand is already suffering.

3 Things Pilots Know About Crisis Management
(Fast Company, 24.11.15)

When it’s just you and your craft at 5,000 feet, what matters most is experience.

Ebay’s Spinoff of PayPal Is a Model for Crisis Management
(Forbes, 09.11.15)

Every enterprise, no matter how big, successful or skillfully managed, will eventually have to deal with a challenge that represents an existential crisis. In meeting that challenge, every flaw will be exposed and every weakness will be pounced upon by competitors. A crisis is management’s ultimate test.

“Change before you have to.” —Jack Welch

Health and Wellness Branding Digest, September 10, 2015

The New World of Healthcare Marketing: A Framework for Adaptation
(Forbes, 06.09.15)

Few would argue that the US healthcare industry is currently undergoing a seismic shift. Just one of the changes facing healthcare is based on consumer behavior shifts as more employees find healthcare independent of their employers. The result is that healthcare companies of all shapes and sizes are faced with a new and startling reality: yesterday’s customer is not tomorrow’s customer. Suddenly, healthcare marketers are expected to deeply understand consumer preferences, create relevant products that meet a changing target’s needs, and produce marketing programs that connect consumer insight to firm performance.

How Content Marketing Helps Consumers Make Sense of Health Insurance Options
(FierceHealthPayer, 19.08.15)

When it comes to shopping around for healthcare products and services, effective marketing can make a world of difference for consumers who must sift through the overwhelming amount of information in the decision-making cycle, according to a Medical Marketing & Media article.

Biotech Report: Will Gene Therapy Go Mainstream?
(Medical Marketing & Media, 28.07.15)

Within the healthcare marketing community, gene therapy is an object of intense fascination. In understanding the potential curative promise of such drugs, marketers have fallen over themselves to tout their virtues and rip off list after list of “best practices” for promoting them—even though it’s hard to codify best practices when so few of the products have actually reached the market. Nonetheless, you’d be hard-pressed to find even a C-list pharma marketer who hasn’t long since awakened to the eventual virtues of gene therapy. Enthusiasm within the scientific and investment communities couldn’t be higher.

Social Media Considerations for Healthcare Marketers
(MediaPost, 17.06.15)

Social media is a pivotal element in healthcare marketing, and an essential tool for patient education and relationship development. It’s also a de facto customer service platform, and therefore both a vital channel for and potential impetus to crisis communications. If it hasn’t already happened, soon someone will try to tweet for emergency care, expecting immediate response.

“If branding is ultimately about the creation of human meaning, it follows logically that it is the humans who must ultimately provide it.” —David Aaker

Corporate Branding Digest, July 20, 2015

Denial Is the ‘Enemy’ of Crisis Management
(PRWeek, 22.06.15)

Denial is the “enemy” of crisis management, PRWeek’s Crisis Communications Conference heard.

Vision 100: How to Be a Visionary Marketer
(Marketing Week, 15.04.15)

Leading marketers from our Vision 100 list explain how they confront today’s business challenges.

How to Keep Your Corporate Branding Strategy on the Cutting Edge
(Forbes, 05.01.15)

Some brands stay fresh and relevant generation after generation. What makes certain corporate branding strategies timeless while others come and go?

3 Key Areas Where a Strong Corporate Brand Adds Value
(Entrepreneur, 23.03.15)

Look at many B2B companies today, and you’ll find they often do a much better job of marketing product brands than expressing the virtues and values embedded in the company. In today’s product-centric business environment, companies frequently commit vast amounts of resources to market their product brands, yet sometimes overlook the company brand—the brand that stands behind all of a company’s products, services and people.

“In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.” —Warren Buffett

Corporate Branding Digest, July 13, 2015

Apple’s Taylor Swift Retreat Highlights New Corporate Crisis-Management Playbook
(The Wrap, 23.06.15)

Taylor Swift‘s brief battle with Apple over its Apple Music streaming service serves as a reminder of her social media influence, but the bigger story may be the company’s rapid Twitter response and how it highlights an effective playbook for companies managing crises in the digital age.

In Marketing, Getting It Right Every Time Matters
(, 09.06.15)

I work hard to get it right because my biggest fear is that I will fail to convince my audience. As a CMO, you should worry about the same thing. Of course, you know that. But while you’re down in the weeds of a campaign or deep in the mire of your branding strategy, how often do you stop to consider that every job you do as a CMO is really just one job: It’s about how to influence people to do what you want. And how you express that matters every day, every time you produce content.

Can Your Comms Team Predict the Future? Because Your CEO Demands It
(PRWeek, 05.06.15)

CEOs want the ability to see into the future from their communications advisers—to anticipate actions that have the potential to cause a corporate crisis.

Five Reasons You Need a Crisis Communications Plan
(Food Processing, 05.06.15)

Ice cream and listeria. Baby food and glass. Sprouts and E. coli. These days food and beverage processors are ground zero for brand reputation and media relations. When things go wrong, people want to hear firsthand from the folks responsible for both the problem and the solution.

“Digital brand integration is part of the evolution of product placement. It’s simply another tool marketers use to get products integrated into shows.” —David Brenner

Did Obama or Your Boss Overstay Summer Vacation?

[Originally posted on]

Every August, millions of Americans take vacations. And every year, the most powerful of them, their president, takes a lot of heat just for taking his—and also for where he goes. Powerful business executives, too, take hits for their choice and length of retreat.
Continue Reading →

Supporting Boston

This week we mourn with the communities of Boston, Cambridge and Watertown, Mass.—and our entire country—as we start to heal after the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. @havaspr spent last weekend counseling the Cambridge Public Schools on its crisis communications plan, just one of countless wonderful institutions touched by this senseless crime. We all mourn together.