No rest for the weary crisis chronicler, even in mid-summer


Some time away afforded fun and rest, but no shortage of crises. [Thanks to colleagues Eric Mower, Allie Friedman and Val Czamara for keeping watch in my absence].

The NCAA came down like a French Revolution guillotine on Penn State. Faster than a dropping blade, a once-proud football program was left decapitated, its players wondering why events from 1998 were their fault.

The Olympics, in full swing, are always controversial. Social media ripped NBC’s coverage and was so prepared to do so, the critics created their own hashtag for Twitter, #nbcfail. Just in case there were any doubt of how these media observers really felt.

NBC fell right into their laps by omitting from its feed to Americans watching TV at home Friday night Britain’s tribute to its own 7/7 terrorist attacks. Then NBC added salt to the wounds when a spokesman apparently claimed it wasn’t relevant to U.S. audiences.

Mid-summer usually slows down the media attention and major events, because, simply, a lot of people are on vacation so the odds of a full-blown crisis diminish. These days, of course, vacation almost never means without tablet, smartphone and/or wireless.

Even in a semi-wilderness western trek, friends had wireless access, but with AT&T I did not. That was a major crisis. But I survived. Mostly by borrowing Verizon smartphones.

No one at Chick-fil-a wanted to kiss and make up over its anti-gay stance, although gay couples started a campaign to kiss in the company’s restaurants. In the end, as Oreo did with its gay-friendly, rainbow cookies, we can assume that this is Chick-fil-a playing to the home constituency. Hard to say how pre-meditated it was, but one guess is that Chick-fil-a will net a sales gain.

It’s a nutty world out there. Even the mainstream media is in crisis and some are actually calling for reform and self-investigation. A wild summer indeed.

The content of this blog is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It originates with Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and in four top editor positions at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agencies, with seven offices in the Northeast and Southeast. Learn more about EMA at www.mower.com. Steve’s blog is based on his own opinions and does not represent the views or positions of Eric Mower + Associates.

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About steveoncrisis

The content is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It comes from Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and as managing editor and editorial page editor at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower and Associates, one of the nation's largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agency with six offices in the Northeast and Southeast.
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