Tag: Crisis

Categories: Energy issues / Reviews

12 May 2019

One comment

Chernobyl book review: Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future by Kate Brown

Allen Lane imprint Penguin Books 2019

ISBN-13: 978-0393652512

The shocking truth about Chernobyl is how few people were killed or made ill by radiation.

I’m getting an adrenaline rush watching HBO and Sky TV’s five-part dramatisation of the Chernobyl accident because in 1995 I spent six months working at the heart of the disaster. At that time I was the only Westerner permanently based at the site. So I’m pleased that – so far – the Chernobyl drama has delivered a riveting portrayal of blundering bureaucrats and their unforgivable betrayal of plant operators. It stirs my heart to see proper credit given to those involved in the heroic effort to selflessly contain the accident and clean up the mess. The scale of the fallout, which displaced hundreds of thousands of people, affecting millions living in designated contamination zones, was massive. The response to it was courageous and inspirational.

Read on ›

Categories: Crisis management / Culture Wars / Political spin / Trust and reputations

12 July 2017

2 comments

Bell Pottinger South Africa, a reality check

What unites all the major political parties in South Africa: the African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)? The answer is their determination to divide the country along pre-existing racial fault lines. Yet the DA, South Africa’s main opposition party, has had the audacity to lodge a misconduct claim against Bell Pottinger (BP) with the UK’s Public Relations Consultants Association, accusing it of “sow[ing] racial mistrust, hate and race-baiting, and [encouraging a] divided society”.  Read on ›

Categories: Crisis management / Trust and reputations

27 October 2012

12 comments

Poor communication is not a crime

Italian judge Marco Billi has jailed (pending appeal) six scientists and one public official for six years for manslaughter. They were condemned for downplaying – in their communication – the risks of an earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy, which killed 309 people in 2009. The verdict should send shockwaves through the ranks of public relations professionals, because the precedent it sets could be applied to PR pros just as easily as to our clients and their other advisers. Read on ›

Categories: Crisis management / CSR reality check

30 August 2012

3 comments

Lonmin’s PR credibility gap

You cannot have missed it. A strike at the Marikana platinum mine owned by Lonmin in South Africa led to 34 workers being killed and many more injured in a confrontation with the police. Weeks later the number of people on the illegal strike has increased considerably with only 13 per cent of workers turning up at the mine on Monday. Read on ›

Categories: Crisis management / Media issues

26 April 2012

6 comments

Reality check on Leveson, Murdoch and Hunt

Hating the Murdochs is a sport in some quarters. It is almost all the old British left has left. Socialism is not doing well, but loathing Thatcher and her biggest media supporters still resonates. In the case of culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, we have what looks like the perfect mirror-image foolishness from the right-wing of politics. Read on ›

Categories: Crisis management / History of PR / PR issues

22 February 2012

6 comments

Why Chaos Theory in PR is hogwash

I have noticed that there’s an increasing interest among PR pros in chaos theory. It might be because we’re in recession, the result of recent earthquakes and tsunamis, or even the new complexity that social media throws up. But whatever motivates them, here’s some insight into why they are misguided. Read on ›

Categories: Credit Crunch / Crisis management

5 February 2012

8 comments

Message to bankers: how to win the PR wars

Last week there was “outrage” over the bonus awarded to Stephen Hester, chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland. This week we are set for another moral outburst when Barclays announces expected profits of more than $9 billion, which will result in its CEO Bob Diamond pocketing around $3 million. In the midst of a global crisis that heralds austerity for many, what strategy should be adopted by PRs tasked with defending banks, bankers and bonuses? Read on ›

Categories: Crisis management / Trust and reputations / Zurich

20 June 2011

No comments

How pat PR sells clients short in a crisis

I’m sitting lakeside near Zurich after a swim, and I surf on my friend’s handheld electronic thingamajig. It lands me on Paul Holmes’s eponymous Report. There I click on a video by Richard Levick, CEO of Levick Strategic Communications. He’s discussing three common mistakes that companies and countries make when faced with a crisis. Oops, and he then makes four classic PR errors himself. Read on ›