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Alert! Don't be the United Airlines CEO

Every Story follows it's own precipitous news arc. That's why we, the publicists at TVGuestpert, know how to place the story on the particular wave of crisis.

"It's all about 'pivoting' the story," says Jacquie Jordan, CEO and Founder of TVGuestpert, TVGuestpert Publishing and TVOnCameraTraining. "In this day and age where media stories are more difficult to bury because of technology and social media, it is more important than ever to have the CEO media ready to shift the focus if the storm of the story can't be waited out. And knowing this difference is particularly important."

United Airlines is now going to become synonymous for poor customer service; no more the "Friendly Skies." The CEO took a terrible PR situation and made it worse at every turn.

He broke every rule in the Crisis Management Playbook.

1) Didn't take immediate responsibility.

2) Didn't apologize.

3) Blamed the customer.

The irony of this is United Airlines CEO, Oscar Munez, was named Communicator of the Year by PR Week, only to be dethroned for handling a PR crisis that should have been an apology from the start.

What should have happened:

1) Apologize and restate the companies mission to serve the customer.

2) Reassure the consumer that the company takes full responsibility for a policy that may have caused harm.

3) Craft a legally careful "customer is always right" acknowledgement that customer's are first, and that this customer needed to be taken care of respectfully.

Read More:


Every Breaking News Story Follows an Arc: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/every-breaking-news-story-follows-arc-jacquie-jordan?inf_contact_key=f7f10c7b547fc7e53b5f0b022e97209b

Every Breaking News Story Follows an Arc

This is important to know because depending on your area of expertise, you will know where you will fall in the media requested timeline of appearances. When a tragedy strikes - the first layer of bookings will go to Public Officials and Eyewitnesses. The media is looking for the government body to identify, declare, and detail what has officially occurred. This happens for the first 24 hours of news.

In addition to Government Officials or Public Officials (like spokesperson for an airline), eyewitnesses get the first round of screen time. They add the details to the "official statement."

On Day #2 of a Breaking News Story - the "Digesters" are called in. They don't necessarily need to have any direct relation or experience to the actual event; however, they have experience in the arena of conversation and they are booked to help the viewer "process the information" and "prevent something similar." This can be a former Government or Public Official or a personal story that relates to the experience that either the victims or the eyewitnesses have gone through. This is also the day that the requests will come from Therapists, Psychologists, Life Coaches, Psychiatrists, Grief and Trauma Experts. Producers and Bookers often work from an M.D. or Ph.D. and/or a credible institution backwards in credentials.

On Day #3 depending on whether "new information" is being revealed - the first two days will recycle the same pattern or "polarity" sets in. Producers will look for the two sides of the argument - the Victim and the Victimizer conversation. This is where taking a side becomes important in the layer of speaking points that an expert is willing to take. Weaker, more grey or neutral opinions get pushed further down the booking chain to later days. Having the courage to take a point of view will "up" your chances of getting booked, especially if it's OPPOSITE than what might be expected or predicted based on the access of your expertise. Often, at this stage, "The Voice of Reason" is not invited to the table. However, we believe the "Voice of Reason" can be balanced in the polarity of the conversation, but the Expert needs to be locked down in the boundaries of their own content. PERIOD! This is why we are big "On Camera Training" thumpers. The opportunity is there, but you need to understand how to craft an argument that is within the integrity of your mission statement.

On Day #4 if the story does not have any "new developments" then it often opens up to related or "Kaleidoscope" points of view. This doesn't necessarily require a direct relation to the event or even a polarity of opinion. This is where more of the "What have we learned?" or "What can we learn?" conversations open up. This is where tangible practical tips are required. If it's a fire, "Stop, Drop, and Roll" matter. If it's Prince dying without a will, "What three things do we need to have in order for our own lives and family?" Simple, pedantic, information can get passed here.

There is an opportunity in every story to share your part of the tale and to contribute to the collective story; however, demand, timing, and content are key. When you get booked, execution of the material will be what determines your rebooking.

What Does Value Mean To You?

The way I make my living is by aggregating opportunity and mitigating rejection for other people. It's packaged under fancy names like Producer, Publisher, and Publicist. I have become a connoisseur of mining connections that help my clients grow their core businesses. When I wrote the 2011 book, Heartfelt Marketing: Allowing the Universe to Be Your Business Partner, I was politely calling out the very way successful people often sabotage themselves because I have all too often had a front row seat to such events, and have wittingly learned to duck the tail whip that usually follows.

My ability to create success is directly proportionate to my ability to convince others why a particular moment or appearance is going to benefit them. If I can't bring my client on board with that vision, then it doesn't matter how great the opportunity actually is from my own experience.

What creates the biggest disconnect is when pop culture has influenced my client's naivety by giving them pseudo jargon that sounds powerful, but is still inherently useless.

Here are the rants I hear most frequently along with my professional reasoning behind well intended, but not so effective, questions that do and don't effect value.

#1: "How is this going to affect my brand?"

My first pithy response would like to be, "It's not going to effect your brand, if no one knows about your brand."

In my time as a national media expert, I can say that media is not what effects brand name. Stupidity is usually the cause. For example, this past holiday season, Bloomingdale's had to quickly pull a holiday photo ad that said, "Spike your best friend's egg nog when they are not looking." Branding is not effected by the media outlet, rather it's effected by the value of your content - which means that you are in charge and responsible for the value of your own branding, not the media. At the end of what became an incredulous media campaign, Bloomingdale's brand hadn't been stained, and it hasn't even been remembered.

#2:"I am a published author, shouldn't I be getting more media exposure."

Well, that depends on the quality of the book. For one, a published book, is held in higher regard than a self published book for the reason that a published book has been vetted by qualified editors, marketing professionals, and, of course, the publisher. Many national media outlets we work with will not "plug" a self published book for that reason - meaning that a media booking needs to occur for other content merit outside your actual book. In short, some books can be a detriment to your media campaign.

#3: "What is the reach of the show?"

Common vernacular popularized by the measurement of Nielsen Ratings as the measurement of audiences for the value of advertisement placements. Having produced some top notch A-list talent in my life, I have rarely seen an A-lister turn down an interview when they have something to plug. Although a larger audience may seem better on paper, it's more often a quality audience that is more effective in getting the value out of the appearance for your overall goal. And, if a call to action is, for example, to sell books, then talking to an audience of more than 1, should be substantial enough in the desire to get your message out there.

In addition, mass media is still one of the most effective ways of raising the value of expertise and impacting the most people at once. However, with the internet, appearances live longer in a way that these same appearances used to disappear giving more shelf life and value to what used to be - a one hit wonder. How do you quantify the value of an audience of 4 million vs. 400? It depends again, in my opinion, on the quality of your message. Once again, putting you in control and holding you accountable for the value of your branding.

TVGuestpert's Jacquie Jordan discusses protecting your branding: youtube.com/watch?v=8Cmy4gJIJFs&feature=youtu.be