MEDIASTRAIGHTalk-May 2015 Edition

April 30, 2015

WASTING WORDS WITHOUT A MESSAGE—” A very delicate balance while we try to make sure they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Taken out of context she claims. You decide. What is the message? Who is the audience? What did the mayor want the reaction of her key audience(s) to be? Bottom line…never communicate in a crisis situation without a key message that is clear, repeatable and can’t be taken out of context.

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME…TAKE ME OUT TO THE CROWD—Can’t buy any peanuts or Crackerjacks because there won’t be any vendors to sell them to fans because there won’t be any fans at the White Sox-Orioles baseball game today (4-29) at Camden Yards in riot-torn Baltimore. Is this all about the players’ safety or about $$$$? Other venues with fans (Washington-Tampa Bay) were available but baseball chose to set a new precedent—first major league baseball game ever to be played without fans. This after MLB had just seen fans ordered to stay inside Camden Yards (last Sunday) when trouble was near and two game cancellations (Mon-Tues) of this week. Were there alternatives to this sandlot-like plan? What is baseball’s real message to its fans?

BLUE BELL BOSS PICKS RIGHT FLAVOR—One of the nation’s largest ice cream makers, Blue Bell, voluntarily recalls its product in 23 states because of a listeria outbreak (4-21). It’s Texas-based Chief Exec Paul Kruse, in a video and written statement, gets an A+ for saying “the company was heartbroken and committed to fixing the problem. We’re going to do the 100% right thing and the best way to do that is to take all of our products off the market until we are confident they are all safe.” (8 million gallons of ice cream products recalled). Doing the ‘right thing’ early and often is a communications key that sends the right message to your customers, dealers, suppliers.

THE PRICE IS WRONG—Cincinnati Reds baseball manager Bryan Price went on a profanity-laced tirade in a pre-game briefing with reporters. It lasted 5 ½ minutes replete with 77 uses of the “F” word or a variant and 11 uses of a vulgar term for feces. He bested former Cubs manager Lee Elia’s famous 1983 rant against fans. Price a vulgarity every 3.7 seconds…Elia 3.9. Reason for the implosion? He didn’t want reporters doing their jobs. In business + sports…many times a person is promoted beyond his/her capabilities. The payoff, sometimes, can be v e r y painful.

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