Has Brian Williams Put the Reputation of News At Risk?

Last night at dinner with some colleagues, the topic of Brian Williams and his Paul Bunyan tale of being shot down in the Iraqi desert came up.  Is he a liar?  An embellisher? Or a victim of some sort of false memory syndrome? No doubt, experts more qualified than me will be filling the airwaves…

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Banned in Boston: Anti-Olympic Talk

I remember early in my career a client told me they were working on a commercial that would get banned in Boston.  He said it gleefully, and I didn’t get it.  And because I was a starry-eyed young pro dazzled by early exposure to a CEO, I simply asked him to explain why he wanted…

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Super Bowl Reveals the NFL’s Broader Issue

It was hard to watch the Super Bowl without thinking that the NFL has had a rough year. And while the pre-Super Bowl scandal of  #DeflateGate is certainly not in the realm of serious issues such as domestic violence and child abuse, it is representative of a pervasive problem in the leagues culture—a lack of…

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Something Positive for the NFL

If you are a crisis communications enthusiast, the NFL has been a gift that keeps on giving in the past year, with a steady drumbeat of scandals providing ample fodder for commentary.  2014 was not a kind year for the NFL…or should I say, the NFL did its best to skewer itself in 2014? From…

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What A Headscarf Tells Us About the Power of Twitter

I had a colleague who used to challenge every reporter that he felt was off base with the question, “What is it, a slow news day?”  Back then, reporters would try to uncover stories by calling you on the phone, testing a theory, a rumor and sometimes just fishing for news.  It was pretty easy…

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The Anti-Vaccine Movement and the Power of a Narrative

Social media is exploding with infographics and articles about vacciners v. anti-vacciners, fueled by a measles outbreak traced to Disneyland.  And while the experts argue about herd immunity, and the fact that we’ve forgot, as a society, what it was like for most families to bury at least one child due to diseases like measles,…

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In Wake Of Blackfish Backlash, SeaWorld Takes A Plunge

The verdict is out on the impact of “Blackfish,” the 2013 documentary that put SeaWorld’s treatment of orca whales in the line of fire: SeaWorld reported another disappointing quarter this week, with its profit falling 28 percent and its stock price down more than 50 percent from its 2013 April IPO following the news. We’ve…

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Growing Up MWW: A 15 Year Lesson in Life, Business and Self-Discovery

A Note from Carreen Winters: From time to time we feature guest posts from clients, industry experts and other MWW leaders. Today, we feature a post from Joe Cohen – who is a legitimate leader — of our firm, and our industry (he’s the National Chair of the PRSA). I remember Joe when he joined…

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Advice to the NFL: Talk Less, Do More

If you are a reputation blogger, the NFL is a gift that just keeps on giving. I tried to root for them, I really did. I listened to Roger Goodell’s news conference and gave him the benefit of the doubt….apology (check), outline action & timeline (check), do something good for the issue of violence (check,…

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Is Paid Media the Final Reputation Frontier?

Reputation is one of those amorphous things that people struggle to define, yet seek to protect at all costs.  Famous quotes about the importance of reputation abound, and companies generally accept the notion that reputations are worth protecting. Over the two decades I’ve been working in reputation management, the practice has evolved from an earned…

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