Is It Ever OK to Respond “No Comment” to a Reporter?

Yes, but not in those exact words.

No comment

To comment or not to comment?

The conventional wisdom for media interviews is that you never say “no comment” when a reporter asks you a question you can’t or don’t want to answer.

You Must Answer the Question

Of course, you can’t give the reporter confidential company information, or comment during the quite period preceding an IPO. But you cannot ignore the question. You don’t want to use the words “no comment,” which is like waving a red flag. But many interview subjects think they can simply stonewall the reporter and bridge back to their key messages.

That is a big mistake. The reporter will think …Read more…

Do Integrity and Trust Still Count for Anything?

Not to be cynical, but the recent past hasn’t been so encouraging if you still believe that trust and integrity count in this world.

Not so long ago, CNN released the contents of the late Lybian Ambassador Christopher Stevens’ personal journal, after reportedly assuring his family that it wouldn’t. Commenting on the CNN brouhaha, a spokesperson for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was quoted as telling a reporter to f–k off.

Do Integrity and Trust Count?

The photo of a topless Duchess of Cambridge sun bathing on a private vacation was another media shocker. After the photo appeared in a French magazine, other media took the attitude “they printed it so why can’t we?” So the image is going viral in other countries (but not the U.K.) and so far as we know not the U.S. …Read more…

Even Smart Companies Are Dumb About Crisis Communications

Have you examined your crisis communications plan lately? Is it up to date? Do you even have a crisis plan in place?

Apple, the company that invented the smart phone, was dumb about the way it handled the instant crisis of the awful Maps app on its iPhone 5. You don’t want to find yourself in the in the same predicament if something goes wrong at your company.

Silence at First

Apple fans were worked up into a tizzy in anticipation of the new phone with the usual lines circling Apple stores when the phone went on sale. But much to their dismay, Google Maps was nowhere to be found. Apple had substituted its own Maps app. What a clunker. Whole cities were missing, and you risked being directed to a street that led nowhere. A new pejorative — “Mapplegate” — entered the lexicon. …Read more…

How a Manicurist Nicked a Finger and Started a Crisis

The Brewing Crisis

The Brewing Crisis

True story: a manicurist in the beauty salon of a five-star hotel, part of a global chain, accidentally nicked a patron’s finger. She ignored the customer’s complaint because she thought the cut was too small to worry about.

Next, the customer reported the incident to the salon’s manager and then the hotel’s management. They, too, waived aside her complaint. …Read more…