MEDIASTRAIGHTalk-May 2015 Edition

May 26, 2015

THESE DAYS A GOOD NAME IS EVERYTHING—Tom Brady, Alex Rodriguez, Gov. Blago, BP, Takata. How important is reputation to an individual or company? Recent surveys show that more than half of corporate boards of directors said reputational risk was an important topic of boardroom discussions coming in second only to regulatory compliance risk. A company’s brand is an asset. It may not show up on a balance sheet but it can have an effect on earnings, share price and the sustainability of a company. Communications in a crisis? Usually an afterthought in the executive suite. Reacting appropriately and with repetition in a time of crisis can mitigate damage to a reputation. Sometimes what goes wrong isn’t nearly as bad as the company’s poor reaction. It’s not the mistake but how you respond to it. Ask airbag manufacturer Takata who tried to ‘bury’ manufacturing defects and now is fighting for its life. BP, five years after the Horizon Gulf oil spill, looking for sympathy in its cash settlements with claimants and finding little. Have a discipline in place (operations and communications) to do things right the first time.

GEORGIE PORGIE PUDDIN’ AND PIE.—What George Stephanopoulos is not. He’s not a journalist or reporter. He’s a PR guy that ABC fell in love with after he left the Clinton White House where he served Bill as a strategist and mouthpiece. Only lately did Steph, ABC News chief anchor, reveal his $75,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation while he was ‘covering’ Hillary’s presidential campaign. “I now believe that directing personal donations to that foundation was a mistake,” he said. Guys like Brian Williams and George Steph are the sign posts of network news credibility? Thank goodness Cronkite and Murrow aren’t around to see this. The only credential a news person has is credibility. Once lost almost NEVER recovered.

IN NEBRASKA TIL DEATH DO US PART—The Nebraska unicameral legislature has voted to abolish the death penalty. Liberals hailed it as Cornhusker conservatives finally ‘seeing the light’. A Huffington Post reporter quoted Amnesty Intl. as saying it was “ a courageous step forward for human rights.” Nope. The reason for the vote? Noone has been put to death in Nebraska since 1997 because of appeals, injection replaced the electric chair in 2008 and the state has been unable to acquire lethal drugs. The vote had everything to do with a waste of Nebraska taxpayer $$$ rather than an eye-for-an-eye. Fact checking overcomes very lazy journalism.

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