ishmaels corner

Category: Bad Stuff


TV Report Triggers Burger Crisis at McDonalds in China

Chris Tang, our Asia Pacific managing director based in Beijing, has years of experience in advising clients during times of crisis. The crisis a few months ago involving McDonald’s caught her attention. Here, she shares a mini case study on the episode and what McDonald’s did right to avoid a long-term disaster. By Chris Tang …more

What’s The Story With Netflix?

Let’s start with the positive side. Netflix customers passionately care about the service. Every time Kellogg’s raises the price of Pop-Tarts, you don’t even hear a whimper. But the Netflix customer base responded with the emotional fervor of a South American futbol match. Why? Take a look at the blog post announcing the pricing change. After laying out …more

Georgia Chooses Numbers Over Narrative

Advertising, not public relations, embraces storytelling techniques. Usually. I came across an ad for the country of Georgia with the headline: Georgia, The World’s number 1 in fighting corruption. While not a fan of Styrofoam-finger advertising, this sounded promising. Anytime you have good fighting evil, a potential story lurks around the corner. Unfortunately, the people …more

BP Crisis Brings Exxon Along for the Ride

The BP oil rig explosion just hit the two-month milestone. At last count, I was one of 10,332 writers (my horseshoe-far number) who weighed in with a perspective or two on BP’s crisis communications. Make that 10,333, with the BBC highlighting BP boss Tony Hayward’s gaffes. A byproduct of BP’s PR nightmare involves the resurrection of the Exxon Valdez …more

BP Letter On Crisis Shows Common Sense (In Stark Contrast To Toyota Approach)

The communications controlled by a company during a crisis – not the media coverage – provide the best indicator of competency (or lack thereof). If you can’t get the communications under your control right, you have zero chance of winning over others to carry your story forward. That’s why I characterized Toyota’s crisis communications as amateur hour. The company’s first open …more

Toyota Crisis: Hell Hath No Fury Like a Car Maker Scorned

Scorn makes for good storytelling. It brings out emotion and ultimately unscripted drama. Look no further than the bevy of reality TV shows cranking out the profits to understand the appeal of NOT knowing how the story will turn out. With this in mind, I suspect we’re going to see and read a helluva story …more