Now is too late why you have the black hat on and what you can do about it
1 / 23

Now Is Too Late: Why You Have the Black Hat On - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Now Is Too Late: Why You Have the Black Hat On And What You Can Do About It. Presented by Gerald Baron Founder AudienceCentral—Creator of “Virtual Communication Centers” Author of “ Now Is Too Late : Survival in an Era of Instant News” Public Relations Society of America October 28, 2003

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Now Is Too Late: Why You Have the Black Hat On' - omer

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Now is too late why you have the black hat on and what you can do about it
Now Is Too Late:Why You Have the Black Hat On And What You Can Do About It.

Presented by Gerald Baron

Founder AudienceCentral—Creator of “Virtual Communication Centers”

Author of “Now Is Too Late: Survival in an Era of Instant News”

Public Relations Society of America

October 28, 2003

New Orleans, LA

White hats and black hats
White Hats and Black Hats

  • Why your reputation is at greater risk than you may think

  • The credibility “hole” and how it got there

  • Infotainment and the melodrama formula of journalism

  • Link between media, activists and politicians

  • Instant news and “embeds”

  • Internet and the “post-media” world

Where did this stuff come from
Where Did This Stuff Come From?

  • Personal experience:

    • Refinery explosion with six fatalities

    • Pipeline explosion with three fatalities

    • Numerous other (forestry, labor, medical, waste, white collar crime, etc..)

  • Media frenzy

  • Political action

  • Extensive legal

  • Billions in damages, settlements

The hole we re in the credibility crisis
The Hole We’re In: The Credibility Crisis

Source: PR Strategist, Spring 2003

Edelman “Trust Barometer”

How does the media treat business
How Does the Media Treat Business?

  • 1997 Media Research Center Study:

    • 900 tv entertainment shows analyzed

    • Businessmen commit most crimes

      • 3 times more than career criminals

      • 3 times more murders than career criminals

    • More likely to cheat than contribute positively

It s not that only others have dug the hole
It’s Not That Only Others Have Dug the Hole…

  • Accounting scandals

  • Insider trading

  • Tire problems covered up

  • Maintenance shoddy

  • Etc., etc.,

To make things worse the three i s
To Make Things Worse: the Three “I’s”

  • Infotainment—the dominant form of news coverage

  • Instant News—when it happens it happens fast

  • Internet—and gets spread far

Infotainment when news became entertainment
Infotainment: When News Became Entertainment

  • 60 Minutes enters primetime

  • Ratings success of news programming

  • Adoption of entertainment forms

  • The Nightline vs Letterman Debate

  • “Reality” programming—fiction or non-fiction? News or entertainment?

News as entertainment the melodrama formula
News as Entertainment: the melodrama formula

  • Good guys

    • Accusers: activists, whistleblowers, regulators, disgruntled employees, competitors, etc.

  • Bad guys

    • Those accused (you)

  • The Maiden in distress

    • Public good: health, safety, financial security, environment

One small example colossus
One Small Example: Colossus

May 13, 2003KING5 Seattle (NBC)

“I feel like it’s a conspiracy of the insurance industry against the average American consumer.” One accuser (lawyer)

“A computer doesn’t know what we’ve gone through…” Victim accuser

From event to reputation disaster
From Event to Reputation Disaster


  • Examples:

    • Enron/Worldcom—Sarbanes-Oxley

    • Olympic Pipeline—pipeline safety act

    • ExxonValdez—OPA 90

Initial Report


Politicians jump in

New laws and why we need them

Stories & presumed public concern provide justification for legislative action, action provides justification for continuing stories

Instant news on the scene before you can react
Instant News: On the scene before you can react

  • The Breaking News phenomenon and ratings

  • Cheap on-scene production

  • Technology drives transparency: embeds

Internet a new postmedia world
Internet: A New Postmedia World

  • Transmitters and press for opponents (imagine your most strident opponent owning CNN)

    • Ability to spread and sustain issue

  • Expectation of direct communication

    • Millions of hits on news source websites (Alaska, Navy, FBI, Firestone, Florida elections)

    • Anger when expectation is not met (Kursk)

Why higher reputation risk
Why Higher Reputation Risk?

  • Approximately 9000 business crises per year (Institute of Crisis Management)

  • We’re starting in a hole with credibility limited by negative public perceptions and entertainment media attitudes

  • If trouble happens, we’ll be wearing the black hats

  • The fast pace of news means now is too late

  • The audiences have higher expectations of direct, open communication than ever before

  • Legal involvement is necessary but can slow response and add to risk

What can be done
What Can Be Done?

  • Protect your credibility at all costs (even legal)

  • Make friends now

  • Be able and willing to communicate directly, not just through the media

  • Prepare now to communicate instantly

NASA’s response to the Columbia disaster provided prime example of crisis communications

Does it work some examples
Does It Work?Some Examples

  • Ship aground

  • Communication manager in Houston

  • Crisis site launched in minutes with full background info

  • Situation updates to mgt in London

  • Able to send releases and updates to media/stakeholders/execs

  • All from home computer

  • No leak—no disaster, but prepared

Pilot accused of racial profiling against Secret Service agent

Arab American activists join in accusation. President “furious.”

Instead of waiting for court, airlines quickly revealed agent’s provocative behavior

Case dismissed

Protect credibility
Protect Credibility

  • Credibility is like gold

  • Once it is lost, nothing you say matters

  • CEO’s tough decision: court of law vs. court of public opinion

  • Crisis response cannot be turned over to the lawyers

Arthur Andersen: the lawyers were trying to stamp out the fire in a wastebasket (one partner’s coverup) while the whole building was on fire.

Make friends now
Make Friends Now

  • If credibility is lost, only those with credibility can speak for you.

  • Do you have loyal friends with high credibility who will speak on your behalf in worst case scenario?

Prepare now to communicate directly
Prepare NOW to Communicate Directly

  • It’s a postmedia world

  • Millions of hits—can your site handle it?

  • Stakeholders expect direct and instant communication

  • Non-responsive means guilty as charged—even when all you are doing is responding

Prepare now to communicate instantly
Prepare NOW to Communicate Instantly

  • Virtual Communication Centers (VCC)

  • Web-based—all tools at hand wherever

  • Collaboration—including legal

  • Web management along with email/fax/phone distribution

  • Inquiry management

  • Efficiency—one person or small team do the work of dozens

Where vcc s are being used
Where VCC’s Are Being Used

  • US Coast Guard (4 districts)

  • Major oil companies (Shell, BP)

  • Major shipping companies (STASCO, BP Shipping, Teekay)

  • Numerous others: insurance, pharmaceuticals, food, associations, etc.

Reputation risk communicate fast
Reputation Risk: Communicate FAST

Build equity

Make friends

Prepare to tell your story

Tell it directly

Tell it fast

The grand prize:

A white hat AND a much valued reputation

Thank you
Thank You!

Gerald Baron



[email protected]