Denver PR Blog


Lodo’s Angers Rockies Fans with Cubs Flags
April 24, 2018, 9:48 am
Filed under: Colorado Rockies, Crisis Communications, Public Relations

The Chicago Cubs took two of three from the Rockies this past weekend, and Lodo’s Bar & Grill – located a block away from Coors Field – is playing a little defense after this photo starting making the rounds on social media:

LodosCubs



Starbucks Shows it Takes Discrimination Seriously
April 18, 2018, 6:35 pm
Filed under: Crisis Communications, Public Relations

Starbucks logoBy now, you have no doubt seen the news that two African-American men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks Thursday. The men were waiting for a friend when they were asked to leave because they hadn’t yet purchased anything, a request that appears to run counter to the company’s policy.

The incident sparked outrage and protest amid accusations that race was at the heart of the incident – had the two men been white, for example, it is almost certain the police would not have been called.

Give Starbucks’ senior management and crisis communications teams credit for neutralizing a delicate situation. The company recognized immediately that it had a highly charged and potentially combustible issue on its hands, and its reaction has been impressive. Among its responses:

  • Starbucks immediately acknowledged the issue on social media and promised to look into the issue.
  • Once Starbucks quickly determined it was in the wrong, CEO Kevin Johnson personally apologized to the men. Johnson also apologized publicly in written and video statements that were posted to the company’s social media platforms.
  • Johnson traveled to Philadelphia and spent several days listening face-to-face to members of the community.
  • Starbucks reassigned the store employee who called the police.
  • The company announced that it will close all 8,000 of its U.S. stores on May 29 to conduct racial-bias education training for nearly 175,000 employees. Additionally, Starbucks shared that the curriculum for that training will be created in collaboration with some of the leading experts on addressing racial bias.

Starbucks followed the PR crisis playbook closely, and it has been incredibly effective at neutralizing this crisis. It didn’t just react, it leaned toward overreacting. Protesters in Philadelphia (and nationally) have been trying to leverage this situation into something bigger, but Starbucks has been a step ahead of them from the beginning.

Additionally, Starbucks has signaled to its socially conscious customer base that it shares their inherent values and is more than willing to be a leader in the fight for principles such as racial equality and respect for all individuals.



Critics Attack Detroit Ad Campaign
July 25, 2017, 10:32 am
Filed under: Advertising, Crisis Communications, Public Relations

Quicken Loans founder and billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert has apologized for an ad encouraging the public to “see Detroit like we do.” The only problem? Detroit is more than 80 percent black, and the ad features zero African-Americans. Gilbert said his company “screwed up badly” and that the campaign has been suspended.

Detroit



The Hits Keep Coming at Chipotle
July 1, 2016, 7:47 am
Filed under: Chipotle, Crisis Communications, Public Relations

When I was at StorageTek, the CEO asked me what it would take to get him on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. “Embezzle $100 million,” I joked.

Recently, Chipotle has seen a lot more coverage in the Wall Street Journal than it wants, and the hits just keep on coming. If you see Chris Arnold today, buy him a drink. He’s earned it.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 8.42.17 AM

 



Cinemark asks shooting victims to cover $700k in legal fees
June 30, 2016, 2:10 pm
Filed under: Crisis Communications, lawsuits, Public Relations

Now that Cinemark has been found not responsible for the Aurora theater shooting, it’s pretty easy to see why it would want to get the money it spent defending itself back. But I’ll give Cinemark the same advice I have given literally dozens of CEOs across many different industries: You are never sorry later for having taken the high road. Not to mention that the reputational damage for trying to collect $700,000 will be in the tens of millions of dollars.



The ‘Sharapova Response’
March 11, 2016, 1:13 pm
Filed under: Crisis Communications, Public Relations

Miguel Piedra of RockOrange argues that tennis star Maria Sharapova’s response to a failed performance-enhancing drug test will become a crisis communications blueprint. From his column in PRWeek:

Her tack was one of honesty, directness, and accountability. She did not use spokespeople or press releases or even Oprah to come clean. In doing so, she has saved herself countless hours of brand-damaging news reports.

Her forthrightness is a case study in proper reputation management. It’s a stunningly bold and mature handling of the crisis, especially considering her youth as compared to the old hands who vainly clung to their claims of innocence, and the even older PR axiom that tells us to “deny, deny, deny.” …

Getting out in front of the story — let’s call this “the Sharapova Response” — means owning the narrative. Information flows from the source directly to the media, unfiltered, and even if it is obscured later it is done through the lens of an initially honest act.



Broncos’ Osweiler Credited for Turning the Other Cheek
March 8, 2016, 11:14 am
Filed under: Crisis Communications, Public Relations

Fox31’s Drew Englebart covered Brock Osweiler’s recent tussle in Scottsdale, and included the PR perspective from dovetail solutions’ Andy Boian.

It’s unlike other athletes, including like Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy, who was recently involved in a bar brawl, and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, who punched a member of his team’s equipment staff. Osweiler avoided what could have been a PR disaster.

“At the end of the day, what happens is if you compose yourself and handle yourself well, there’s no story there and that’s what he did,” Boian said.