Archive for the ‘Thought Leadership’ Category

When Your Employees Go Rogue – How employees can do more damage than your competition

Monday, May 28th, 2018

Lisa Libin, Vice President

An employee can be a company’s strongest asset.  However, when an employee goes “rogue” – going against company policies and values, a PR crisis can ensue, reflecting and ultimately damaging a company’s brand.

From Starbucks employees choosing to have some loitering customers arrested to Tim Horton’s franchisees publicly lashing out over cuts to their benefits – although these issues are caused by rogue employees – it is still the responsibility of the brand to respond and clean up the mess.

What can a brand or company do when its reputation is tarnished by others? Below are some response recommendations for brands to follow when handling a PR issue not of their doing:

 

  1. Move quickly

With the power of social media, an incident is likely to go public, and potentially viral, like rapid fire. Gone are the days of having the luxury of sitting around a boardroom table for days to discuss a response – companies need to respond now. And fast. However, before distributing a response, ensure you are also following recommendation #2:

 

  1. Don’t be generic

Too often, companies are quick to respond with a generic statement – which can often cause additional frustration among consumers and the public who are looking for a more specific response or a call to action. Create a response that speaks to the problem – something as simple as “this isn’t acceptable, we are looking into it” can at least show the public you are taking the issue seriously.

 

  1. Tailor your reaction to the incident

There is no formulaic approach to a PR incident. Each crisis requires its own tailored response and outside counsel can often assist with creating a crisis communications path specific to the incident at hand.

 

  1. Go above and beyond when you can

This lesson can go all the way back to the Tylenol incident of the 1980’s where Johnson & Johnson recalled all of its products from the shelves, not just Tylenol products. An expensive business decision? Absolutely. But what it showed consumers is that Johnson & Johnson was willing to put customer safety ahead of profit margins to ensure all products were safe. When a brand goes beyond the simple response to an issue, it shows its audience that it truly cares and values their business.

 

While a number of recent incidents in the media have involved only one or two employees who made questionable or downright wrong decisions, it is always important to remember that all employees are representatives of the brand and it is important for the organization to act swiftly but act smartly.

 

 

Lisa Libin is Vice President at Brookline Public Relations. Lisa loves a good crisis (as long as it’s not a personal one!) and has vast experience in issues management and brand reputation issues, working with local and global communications teams to handle ongoing and current industry issues.

An evening with Lord Conrad Black

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Angela Cabucos, Account Executive

Brookline PR recently had the opportunity to partner with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI) to position it as a thought-leader in Canada on international affairs through strategic media relations and a speaker event featuring Lord Conrad Black.

For those who may not know, Lord Black is a man of many trades: author/columnist, political commentator, historian, financier, former newspaper publisher, intellectual force, TV host, Member of the British House of Lords and more. He is a columnist featured in many publications throughout Canada, the U.S., and the U.K., and the author of several notable biographies and his most recent book, entitled Backward Glances.

 

 

The event took place on March 6, 2018 at the Westin Calgary and was host to more than 300 attendees for a dinner and fireside discussion. The topic of the night was the state of Canada-U.S. Relations in the Age of Trump.

Event day was in full swing by 9 a.m. as Brookline coordinated a media roundtable with prominent media outlets in the city to have an intimate discussion with Lord Black and Kelly Ogle, President of CGAI. Topics ranging from trade, infrastructure and Trudeau’s trip to India were discussed.

 

 

The evening kicked off with a VIP reception followed by a cocktail hour and capped off with a dinner and compelling discussion with Lord Black and CGAI Vice President, Colin Robertson. The lively conversation was an enlightening look into the relationship between Canada and its neighbour to the south, filled with personal musings from Lord Black’s unique position as a close acquaintance of President Trump.

 

 

The media roundtable and event resulted in outstanding coverage across all of Calgary’s media outlets, including: Calgary Herald, CTV, Bloomberg, News Talk 770, 660 News, CTV, Global, BT and City News.

The entire day was a great success and Brookline was proud to be a part of CGAI’s inaugural speaker dinner.

 

– Angela Cabucos is an Account Executive at Brookline. Her expertise lies in media relations, personal and corporate profile-building, writing and strategic communication planning.

The Year of Influence

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Angela Cabucos, Account Executive 

Every year Brookline Public Relations selects a theme to help guide our strategic direction for the agency and for 2018 the theme is INFLUENCE. What I like the most about this year’s theme, is the versatility. Influence can be construed in so many ways that the possibilities are endless for applying it towards our goals and other agency priorities.

In the PR industry, being an influencer is not always determined by the number of followers someone has on social media. We like to think of influence as the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.

The definition is broad and as Brookline is known to do, we want to approach this theme from all angles. Here are some of the ways that I think Brookline + Influence go hand-in-hand:

 

Brookline PR Influencing the Industry

The PR industry is constantly evolving and Brookline makes it our mission to be on (or ahead) of trends. We do this by influencing the industry through the exceptional work we do with our clients, the media and our involvement with the next generation of professional communicators. Brookline has a client base in diverse industries – retail, food & beverage, energy, real estate, finance, etc. – and by having multiple touchpoints on some of the biggest brands in Alberta and beyond, we are able to apply our influence on different industries.

Everyday Brookliners are in conversation with media contacts, pitching a story idea, coordinating an interview request, onsite at a press conference and more. We all recognize the societal sphere of influence that the media carries, and through our interactions with media, Brookline is continuously influencing the industry.

The next generation of communicators and PR professionals is going to influence the industry immensely. Through our internship program and relationships at post-secondary schools, Brookline is able to share our circle of influence with this group of up-and-coming professionals.

Working with Influencers

Working with bloggers and influencers is a growing segment of Brookline’s business. We’ve had the opportunity to work with outstanding influencers in markets across Canada and believe in the value they can offer clients. It’s amazing to see how much influence this group now has on pop culture and their impact on brands and how they engage with their audiences.

In this sense, Brookline + Influencers are a team. We share a common goal of reaching new audiences and engaging with them in meaningful ways.

 

 

Brookliners as Influencers

Outside of the walls of the Brookline office, many of us are involved with organizations that make an impact in Calgary beyond PR and communications. Dominica is a spin instructor at Stax Cycle Club in Inglewood where she leads classes of fitness enthusiasts through intense yet fun workouts. We’ve even combined these two worlds in client spin classes where we invited some of our clients to sweat it out with us as a team.

As well, Jerrica is involved with Gen Next, a United Way program of Calgarians in their 20s and 30s taking action to educate and inspire the next generation of leaders in community and philanthropic activities. Check out their next event to see how you can get involved, or drop a line to Jerrica. And Leanna is the Editor-in-Chief for the Tuxedo Park Gazette, the monthly newsletter for the community she belongs to. Leanna keeps her pulse on this NE community by attending neighbourhood events and sharing important news to its residents.

Look out for how Brookline integrates the 2018 theme into our agency this year by following #BPRinfluence.

 

– Angela Cabucos is an Account Executive at Brookline. Her expertise lies in media relations, personal and corporate profile-building, writing and strategic communication planning.