Most 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.”
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The High Desert Investment Corporation (HDIC) and its parent the Albuquerque Academy (the academic leader for independent and public education), have a financial problem that has spiraled into a crisis that threatens the reputation of a trusted institution.
Football in the State of Texas is a religion all its own. My college denomination is TCU, that’s right the Horned Frogs.
In recent years, Frog Football has helped to reconcile the ghosts of past coaches. Today a different issue haunts the campus as a police sting nabbed scores of students including four football starters who sold drugs to undercover officers.
Gone are the moral victories of being David versus Goliath. As Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Randy Galloway wrote “But gone forever is that one element that always had separated TCU from most of the rest. The clean image has been stained. No matter what else, it’s a stain that remains.”
While this is a set back, it is also an opportunity.
TCU did well in establishing a culture of transparency and consistency of message. Calling a news conference within hours of the arrests; the communications team posted a letter from the University’s leadership and openly discussed the issue on social and new media throughout the day.
But the heavy lifting will continue at a marathon pace. These are the critical weeks for all universities as high school seniors are making decisions about their post-graduation schooling. While nearly every university has some kind of drug problem, getting national negative attention during decision week is not necessarily in the playbook.
TCU needs to continue its path of transparency and consistency of message.
The first 24-48 hours of crisis communications management focuses on replacing speculation, accusation and clues with facts. TCU has done this through effective statements and even releasing the number of football players that failed drug tests.
The greatest harm to the Komen Foundation is not in the policy controversy. It is in the fact that policy is the focus of media attention instead of the compassion for victims of breast cancer.
Can the “cure” recover? Only time will tell.
The organization’s focus for the next six months needs to be on the basics. Focus on showing compassion to the victims. Continue to put different faces on this issue and sharing the human element. Use success stories to show how the organization is meeting and exceeding the needs of those who are, or are potentially, impacted by cancer.
Good policy fosters good public relations. And for nonprofit organizations, compassion is always good policy even when the board and its leadership get in the way.
Garduno’s has had it share of problems lately. The Albuquerque Mexican restaurant has had issues with tax payments to the State of New Mexico, lost its lease on a location at Balloon Fiesta Park and has had very public issues with an alleged embezzlement by a former employee.
On Sunday, the news stories started that the eatery was going to restructure. On Monday, they announced three of their five stores would close and that the company was going to seek protection from creditors by declaring bankruptcy. In the wake of the announcement, 100 jobs, uninformed employees and bewildered customers.
This was a text book case of how not to make this kind of announcement
Toyota, Tiger and Tylenol… I can’t get these images out of my head. They sit there like a Mount Rushmore of triumph and tragedy.
The triumph, they were the best at their respective crafts, had the best reputations. The tragedy, all crashed with such velocity that they make the Exxon Valdez public relations fiasco appear to be a communications masterpiece (which it was not).
The University of New Mexico is in the national sports headlines, but it isn’t for the football program being 0-4 and losing to in-state rival New Mexico State on Saturday night.
The latest headlines are generating a buzz because of a police report claiming that the UNM Football Coach punched out one of his assistant coaches at a post-game meeting.