Tom Garrity

Verizon meet Epictetus

In Crisis Communication, Messaging, Reputation on December 28, 2018 at 2:31 pm

Screen Shot 2018-12-28 at 6.28.00 AMMost of us have never heard of the stoic Greek philosopher Epictetus.  His “Epic” proverb is cited by many public relation practitioners: “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

At the time of this writing (7am, December 28, 2018), Verizon Wireless is in the midst of a nationwide outage.  Verizon is the largest mobile phone/data services provider in the country.  There has been plenty of news coverage documenting this problem which started to surface two days ago.

Verizon meet Epictetus.

I get it, Verizon is not able to communicate with its customers using its proprietary system because Verizon’s service is down. But it can still communicate with its customers.

For some reason, perhaps in an effort to protect the “brand”, Verizon is not leveraging its “owned media” to update customers.  Their website and four verified twitter accounts are all silent on blackout. Here are their verified IDs (Screen captures below, you can’t make this stuff up):
https://twitter.com/VerizonSupport
https://twitter.com/verizon
https://twitter.com/VZWSupport
https://twitter.com/VerizonNews
https://www.verizonwireless.com

It is hard to believe that they don’t have a crisis communications protocol on how to update customers in the event of a service outage.  My power provider PNM is pretty good about providing updates via its website and twitter (and yes text message).

Verizon’s silence is deafening.

As a customer this is concerning.

As a father whose daughters use Verizon Wireless for emergency situations (like a rare blizzard warning today in Albuquerque) this silence insane!

“…how you react to it that matters.”

Verizon, I am not seeing it.

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The Garrity Perception Survey 2018: The Law

In Reputation on November 30, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.35.13 PMNew Mexico’s legal system is ripe with opportunity to gauge public opinion when compared to community conversations.

The Garrity Perception Survey measures four areas related to the New Mexico legal and justice system.  It includes favorability of the courts and justice system as well as measures trust of judges, lawyers and law enforcement officers.

Favorability of the courts and trust of lawyers do well to hover in the lower quarter of favorability.  Based on a seven-year statewide average, the courts system averages 26 percent favorability and lawyers average 21 percent favorability. Geographically, the two areas are hard pressed to find any pockets of significant support in any part of the state. It is safe to say that despite some very good people and qualified professionals, favorability of the court and trust of attorneys is difficult to increase given awareness of high crime rates, drunk drivers and repeat offenders.

Interestingly, while New Mexico residents are not favorable of the courts they are trusting of its officers, the judges.  An 18 percent gap exists between trust of judges and favorability of the courts.  Geographically, judges have higher trust among residents living in the Eastern and South/Southwestern parts of the state.

Police officers and law enforcement officers are the most trusted when compared with their two counterparts, judges and lawyers. However, New Mexico residents didn’t always have this level of trust (a 49 percent average) of police officers.

In 2013 and 2014, a series of high profile incidents captured local, statewide and national attention.

In 2013, the New Mexico State Police pulled over a van carrying the suspect and her five children.  After the second time the driver tried to speed away, officers fired three shots at the van’s tires. The police dash-cam video captured the exchange which made national coverage.  The officers were cleared of the shooting as a judge said they were justified to shoot at the tires.

Also, in 2013, the Deming Police Department and the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office conducted a full cavity search on a person who was pulled over for allegedly for not coming to a full stop at a stop sign in a Walmart parking lot.

In 2014, the Albuquerque Police Department was involved in the fatal shooting of a homeless man who also suffered from mental disorders. After the shooting, the suspect was found to have knives in each hand.  The incident was one of several officer involved shootings faced by the department in as many months.

The APD shootings captured the media attention and attracted attention of the United States Justice Department.  Police Chief Gordon Eden, an experienced law man and relatively new to his role as police chief, led changes to the force.  With the help of the Mayor and Albuquerque City Council, the Civilian Police Oversight Agency was established.

These actions helped to rebuild trust among Albuquerque residents which in turn increased trust of police offices statewide.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.35.44 PMMore information and analysis of this information is available online at www.garrityperceptionsurvey.com.

The Garrity Perception Survey 2018: Healthcare

In Reputation on November 29, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.33.13 PMFrom 2011-2017, perceptions of healthcare in New Mexico have been impacted at a variety of levels.

Consider these milestones at the Federal and State level.

2010 inaugurated the Affordable Care Act (or ACA), also known as Obamacare.

In 2013, the New Mexico Human Services Department halted funding to 15 behavioral health providers in response to allegations of Medicaid fraud this resulted in coverage interruptions for 30,000 of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

Also in 2013, the New Mexico Healthcare Exchange was created by state law to help residents get affordable health care coverage.

In 2014 the Veterans Health Administration was embroiled in a scandal where allegations of negligence were reported in the treatment of United States military veterans.

As if 2013 didn’t have enough activity, New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez expanded healthcare coverage, through the ACA, to include recipients of Medicaid. The expansion provided coverage for residents with household incomes up to 138 percent of the Federal poverty level.

And according to US Census data, the uninsured rate in New Mexico fell from 18.6 percent in 2013 to 9.2 percent in 2016 — a drop of more than 50 percent, versus the national average drop of a little more than 40 percent.

A 2015 report issued by the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center shows that New Mexico only has “nineteen hundred” primary care physicians. When compared to the State’s population, at the time, that equaled one primary care physician for every “thousand ninety-nine” New Mexicans in the state.

Politically, in 2016, a unique political showdown developed between the legislature, Attorney General, State Auditor and Office of the Superintendent of Insurance.  At the center of the issue, the release of an audit claiming the Insurance Superintendent failed to collect nearly $200 million in taxes from insurance companies.

The seven-year period also included new hospital construction and improvements as well as the creation of and merger of various insurance and medical groups.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.33.34 PMDespite the changes, New Mexico residents are generally consistent in how they feel about the medical system.  Favorability, hovers just below the 50 percent mark with the most fluctuation occurring in 2013 when it dropped from 49 percent to 46 percent.  Over the past seven years, the medical system has averaged 47 percent favorability among New Mexico residents.

Geographically, residents in the Albuquerque area are the most consistent and generally have the highest levels of trust and favorability regarding doctors and the medical system. Residents in the Northwest have the largest swings in favorability of the medical system with a low of 45 percent in 2015 and high of 75 percent in 2016.  Trust of doctors also saw some extreme swings in North Central New Mexico with a 39 percent favorability in 2014 followed by 70 percent favorability in 2015.

Screen Shot 2018-11-23 at 1.33.57 PMInterestingly, the oldest and youngest residents have the highest level of trust in physicians. The youngest (18-34 years of age), typically the lightest users of insurance and healthcare, have an average 66 percent trust of physicians compared to residents over the age of 65 years, the most frequent users of insurance and health care, who have a 69 percent average of trust in doctors.

More information and analysis of this information is available online at http://www.garrityperceptionsurvey.com.