Stories by Deborah Hileman

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Attack, Deny or Accept? Facebook Pondering Best Path in New Crisis

October 19th, 2021 by

Like many social media platforms, Facebook is no stranger to reputation crises. How Facebook and other companies have managed them offers lessons in how to (and not to) address stakeholder concerns and shore up reputation when the proverbial excrement has collided with the rotating blades.

Disaster/Emergency Communications Prep Must Happen Year-Round

September 20th, 2021 by

Clearly, PR pros should update crisis communication plans to assure that weather and natural disasters are considered more likely, even in unlikely regions and at unexpected times of year. For organizations that lack a disaster communication or operation plan, there are free resources online that make planning much easier.

Companies Learned About Crisis the Hard Way in 2020

August 17th, 2021 by

Each year, the Institute for Crisis Management (ICM) tracks crisis-related news stories, classifying them as “sudden” or “smoldering” and putting them into one of 16 categories for its annual report.

Where DEI, Ethics and Crisis Communication Intersect

July 20th, 2021 by

Societal improvement can be frustratingly slow. As a business leader and communication professional, I find it painful watching organizations repeatedly fail to learn from their mistakes.

Crisis Prep Fails When Leaders Won’t Change

June 15th, 2021 by

One of the biggest obstacles to effective crisis management is denial: company managers refuse to believe there is a risk that needs attention.   

Balancing Act: Taking a Stand on Political Issues Without Creating a Corporate Crisis

April 20th, 2021 by

Gone are the days when companies could comfortably stay out of the U.S. socio-political morass. The old strategy of remaining silent or neutral quickly riles customers and other stakeholders in today’s charged, social media-savvy culture. For most brands, it is hard to imagine how taking a stand on a political hot potato won’t alienate customers. Yet, when done correctly, taking a political stand can build brand and employee loyalty.

How PR Pros Can Shape a Brand’s Culture to Avert Looming Crises

April 18th, 2016 by

Every day, another organization finds its way into the headlines embroiled in a once-preventable crisis that threatens its reputation, financial health, even its very survival. In this age of instant global communication, no organization is immune. Entire companies and their stakeholders can suffer from the consequences of poor decisions made by people at every level of the organization. Often, powerful cultural influences in an organization disguise the warning signs that can identify smoldering issues that spell disaster.