The chief executive of Grubhub, an online and mobile food ordering company, learned a lesson last week after he sent out a companywide email that implied that employees should resign if they supported President-elect Donald Trump.
The backlash was immediate and sustained. CEO Matt Maloney quickly moved to clarify his comments, but he damage was done. There were calls for a boycott and media pounced on the executive.
Responding to questions from a Ragan’s PR Daily reporter about the issue, GroundFloor Media’s Vice President Gil Rudawsky said that he began advising clients to update their policies concerning making public political statements earlier this year, and re-emphasized this in the weeks leading up to the election.
“Public comments, even from personal accounts, can be—and often are—misconstrued as being representative of their company’s views,” Rudawsky told Ragan’s. “As a best practice, it is not appropriate for executives to make decidedly one-sided political comments or to push their views on employees.”
And regarding Maloney’s missive to his staff, Rudawsky offered this lesson:
“We remind our clients that while free speech is right, just because you can make political mandates doesn’t mean you should.”
At GroundFloor Media, we often have team members work in house with clients to support crisis situations, provide interim solutions between new hires or to help cover maternity leaves. Sometimes it is just one day per week and other times it has been three plus days per week. I’ve had the opportunity to work in house for several clients over the years and what I like about being in house is not only learning about the products and services at a deeper level, but celebrating success on both sides. In addition, I believe it makes our agency team more aware and empathetic as to how to navigate the internal challenges our client contacts face everyday.
There are a lot of tips and best practices for increasing workplace productivity. It is something no business, of any size, can ignore. Throughout my 20+-year career in communications, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. As an agency partner, I have also played in house communications counsel roles and gained an insider’s view of different management styles and their impacts on workplace productivity. For me, the biggest takeaway from being in house is when leadership begins to focus on individual success rather than collaboration to hit their organizational goals the team suffers and productivity ceases.
TheNational Football League— now under one of the harshest spotlights it’s endured since its inception in 1920 — is at a crossroads where it can either repair its tarnished reputation, or suffer further brand decay, say marketing and sports business experts including GroundFloor Media’s Gil Rudawsky.
Rudawsky says the NFL’s issues are particularly problematic since they are trying to grow its female audience, said Rudawsky, a vice president at GFM.
“They need to revisit their rules and policies for offenders,” Rudawsky said. “They need to make sincere and genuine rule changes and make it clear these things can’t happen. They’re trying to grow their market share for women, and they need to get this right or they’re going to miss out on a huge opportunity.”
If there’s a silver lining, it’s that this spotlight could help prevent domestic violence and child abuse going forward.
“The NFL and its players are role models. They can use this as a teachable moment, where all other sports and businesses can make some real inroads to stop domestic violence,” Rudawsky said.
Colorado is all over the national media these days, but it might not be the kind of press that the state is looking for in terms of economic development. Marijuana has quickly become Colorado’s signature issue in the media, and the coverage hasn’t exactly portrayed the state in a favorable light.
During the recent Colorado Experience, hosted by the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, Kelly Brough said while the state is getting lots of press, it really hasn’t changed the way Colorado does business.
“Despite what everyone is saying, the marijuana industry is small,” Brough, the executive director of the Metro Denver Chamber, told about 120 business executives on a tour of Pueblo. “Revenues are so small it doesn’t even rank with our other industries.” Read more after the jump…
Losing access to email for 20 minutes—let alone three days—would test anyone’s patience in today’s super dialed-in world.
But that’s exactly the crisis that persisted recently for Microsoft when its Outlook.com email service crashed. Following the crash, the company said it had resolved the issues for customers, some of whom had been without email for three days.
Though the company failed in technical areas, it succeeded in how it communicated the issue with its customers.
Microsoft’s apology was effective for a variety of reasons. Find out why with the full article on Ragan’s PR Daily.
GroundFloor Media’s Gil Rudawsky was quoted this week by Ragan’s daily news service on real-time PR monitoring.
Rudawsky, who co-leads GroundFloor Media’s crisis communication service line, is quoted about how real-time monitoring of TV and radio is especially useful in crises.
“With our clients, particularly ones who are facing a crisis, we really need to know the exact minute a report hits the media so we can begin sending out response messages and start round-the-clock monitoring of social media,” Rudawsky says in the article.
There hasn’t been much to gloat about with the press these days, with everything from declining reader and viewer numbers, to plummeting ad sales and waning ethical standards, but is the public finally ready to stop its criticism and give the media a modicum of respect?
Amid a series of glum reports on the press, at least one recent survey is finding a silver lining in being a journalist today. The Pew Research Center found that a slight majority of the public continues to believe that the press acts as an important watchdog by ensuring politicians don’t stray from doing their jobs. In particular, the survey noted that recent government activities, including NSA surveillance and IRS issues, have slightly enhanced the press’s watchdog role.
GroundFloor Media’s crisis expert Gil Rudawsky’s latest column in the Denver Business Journal discusses the merit in getting word out via social media, but he says that sometimes immediacy can get in the way of accuracy.
“During a crisis, such as the wildfires, social media can be helpful as a quick source of news. But it has its pitfalls, as immediacy doesn’t always mean accuracy and it quickly can become a complaint board,” Rudawsky says.
The scrappy Aspen Daily News has one of the best mottos in the business: “If You Don’t Want It Printed, Don’t Let It Happen.”
In the world of communications, we have a similar motto that we share with clients who are facing a pending crisis or are in the midst of one: “Anything You Write, Email, Skype or iChat Can Be Used Against You.” It’s not as jocular as the News’ motto. But it just happens to be the truth in our increasingly litigious world.