David Holmes

Posts Tagged ‘business communication’

Actions speak louder than memos

In Reputation Management on August 16, 2013 at 11:14 pm

CEO of AOL, Tim Armstrong’s handling of the firing of an employee during a conference call with hundreds of other employees reveals as antiquated a philosophy of corporate communication as the floppy disks with which AOL used to try to entice us all.

AOL owns a local news network called Patch. On a call with employees of Patch discussing the flailing subsidiary’s shaky future, an employee in Armstrong’s presence, Abel Lenz, tried to take a photo of Armstrong. The CEO’s reaction was to fire Lenz immediately during the call; the audio of which someone recorded.

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What businesses can learn from politicians and jars of poo

In Crisis Management on August 7, 2013 at 11:10 pm

While governmental agencies are quite different in their operations and expectations from private businesses, there are many similarities between the requirements placed upon them when dealing with the public. Government agencies, though, have a unique responsibility in that they serve as representatives of the public with whom they must communicate. So, while some of this situation might only apply to a government agency, many of the lessons apply to your businessas well.

Several weeks ago, controversial legislation was taken up in the Texas Legislature that brought out more activists to the Texas Capitol than have been seen there at one time in decades.

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Anatomy of a social media disaster

In Crisis Management on August 1, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Social media is both a great amplifier and equalizer. Business communication may have been forever changed because of the use of social media and we seem to see weekly examples in the national media of the growing pains individuals and companies face in acclimatizing to their new voices and exposure.

While there seems to be a constantly growing roster of teachers getting fired for posting something online their students shouldn’t see and an open list of shame to which some companies appear to be attracted like moths to flames, few social media snafus highlight the complete array of communication failures like this week’s firing of a food truck employee in New York because of his Twitter shaming of the company (Glass Lewis & Co.) whose employees failed to tip on a large order.

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Anatomy of Golden Corral’s poor response to viral video

In Crisis Management, Reputation Management on July 9, 2013 at 11:04 pm

The buffet chain Golden Corral brings us the latest business communication crisis wherein an employee shot a video of food being “stored” near dumpsters then asking the company for cash to keep the misleading video hidden – they did not, so for people who did not follow the story all the way through, there may now be a belief that the buffet destination could make them sick.

There are several elements of the situation that occur in many business crisis situations and are worth examining.

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Mediation in the workplace

In Mediation on June 25, 2013 at 11:01 pm

One challenge to small businesses is the absence of specialized personnel that larger companies can afford to keep on staff. In addition to all of their other responsibilities, human resources managers often serve as de facto mediators; helping resolve disagreements and other problems in the company. How are you supposed to handle conflict if you don’t have someone dedicated to personnel issues in the company who is trained to help resolve conflicts?

Most small companies deal with problems by either firing one or more of the employees involved in a conflict that is hindering the successful completion of work, or by limping along with unnecessary dysfunction.

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Taco Bell took a lickin’

In Reputation Management on June 7, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Memo to all PR and social media consultants: Taco Bell will survive this week’s licking and keep on ticking. If you were to search Twitter over the last couple days on the term “Taco Bell,” what you would find is mostly three types of results:

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taco-bell

Business lessons from the recent IRS scandal

In Crisis Management on May 16, 2013 at 10:51 pm

It is easy to dislike the IRS; they take our money. Even if we like what a good chunk of that money goes toward, it’s still easy to grumble about the entity that takes our money and occasionally makes us prove our accounting. And that is when they are doing their jobs correctly – this week’s news has made it even easier to mistrust the agency. But let’s make a couple of assumptions and perform a little exercise examining our own businesses as compared to the revelations about the IRS this week.

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ExxonMobil spill and crisis management

In Crisis Management on April 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Would you know if you had an oil pipeline built in the 1940s carrying thousands of barrels of oil through your neighborhood daily? Residents of Mayflower, AR were certainly surprised a few days ago when crude oil flooded their neighborhoods after a pipeline of which they were unaware burst.

ExxonMobil appears to be responding fairly rapidly to the physical crisis, but this is a pretty big failure for them that illustrates the importance of planning for problems your company is most likely to face.

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4 tips for improving your company’s media relations

In Crisis Management on March 13, 2013 at 10:13 pm

My first memory of media relations comes from my father’s first political campaign when I was 8 years old. After an interview, the newspaper reporter closed his notebook, put away his pen and asked my dad what he really thought of his opponent off the record. The words “inarticulate bozo” were then present in the headline of the article.

Like my dad running for office the first time, the average business does not have to communicate with the media on a regular basis and can sometimes stumble or say something that will not help them out. Most news media professionals perform very ethically and appropriately, but it is easy for lines to be crossed and messages to be mixed when a company and a reporter are not quite on the same page.

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Reputation management in the era of distrust

In Reputation Management on February 25, 2013 at 10:09 pm

We live in a day when you might not be able to trust the leaders at your religious institution or your university who have access to your kids, you can’t trust those in charge of our financial system on Wall Street or in banks, your governmental leaders are probably lying to you, and if you’ve made a trip to Europe recently, there is a good chance you have eaten horsemeat called “beef.”

Perhaps there are no greater problems today than there have been in past times, but with our communication culture, we find out about more of the bad things going on and how they occurred. Whatever the cause or truth, as you consider your own company’s advancement in your marketplace, you must take care of your reputation while considering the current climate.

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