Image & Reputation

MAC’s Apology for Juarez Makeup Line: Effective and Authentic

August 5, 2010

Tweet It’s not often that I get to follow up a post about an organization’s disappointing actions with a post celebrating that very organization’s next step. Given how easy it is to pay attention to and be outraged by the bad actions, it is all the more important to devote some energy to positive resolutions– […]

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Should Non-Profits Buy $800 Chairs?

July 12, 2010

Tweet During a meeting in a downtown conference room at a non profit a few weeks ago, I noticed we were all sitting in Aeron chairs. These are geeky-stylish, ergonomically adjustable office chairs that retail for about $800 a pop. There were 12 of us in the conference room, sitting on a total of about […]

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Is The Daily Show Sexist? Use the 6 Degrees of Sexism Test to judge for yourself

July 9, 2010

Tweet The media storm surrounding Jezebel’s claim that The Daily Show is sexist has tangled up our common assumptions about what does or does not make an organization sexist. Whether or not an organization is “sexist”–or for that matter racist, classist, sustainable, Mormon, Black, etc. – matters to the organization’s members and to its audience. […]

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Implicit Complicity and “Negative Spillover”: Reputation Damage from BP’s Oil Spill Crisis

June 30, 2010

Tweet What do birds, beaches, and Chevron have in common? They have been “tarred by the same gush” of “negative spillover” from BP’s Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. In one of the weirder cases of a collision between literal and figurative language, the “negative spillover” of BPs Deepwater Horizon crisis is soiling not only birds and beaches, […]

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Fronting for “the Man”: Can BP disarm our anger by using a Black “Teddy-Bear” Spokesperson?

June 24, 2010

Tweet [Trigger alert: This post is about racism.] There is no more incendiary question than the implicit and unspoken question that often follows the promotion of non-white and/or non-male employees: Did s/he get the job because s/he’s qualified, or did s/he get the job because s/he’s (fill in the diversity criterion here)? Corporate American is […]

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BP’s Bravest Brandividual: What could be motivating Darryl Willis?

June 22, 2010

Tweet If you’ve been paying attention to BP’s “Making it right” newspaper advertising, or if you’ve seen BP’s recent television advertising, you’ve seen BP’s new Brandividual Darryl Willis. Aside from Tony Hayward, BP’s walking PR disaster CEO, Darryl Willis is the only person with a name shown by BPs own advertisements as being in charge […]

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The Best PR that $1.6 Million Can’t Buy: Authenticity in Action at Zappos

May 25, 2010

Tweet Gotta love those folks at Zappos. They screw up, they explain, they apologize, and they fix it. And we applaud. Why? Because Zappos’ actions support the company’s stated purpose, and Zappos’ actions support its claims about who they are as a company. It’s Authenticity in Action. The Zappos’ Mistake Story in a Nutshell An […]

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Rebranding Pompeii as a Living City

May 4, 2010

Tweet It seems that you can’t escape the demands of rebranding, even if you go back 2282 years. In one of the more intriguing examples of rebranding I’ve seen in a while, the world historical site of the City of Pompeii is currently engaged in its own rebranding campaign. The ‘old’ brand of Pompeii To […]

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Will Newsweek Respond to Claims of Sexism?

March 23, 2010

Tweet I would love to have been in the room when three journalists at Newsweek proposed that Newsweek publish their article criticizing Newsweek for gender discrimination. Why? You know you’re getting close(r) to authenticity when you can have a recursive sentence like that one written about changing things that are wrong at your organization. Here […]

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Social Media Risks: Restoring trust when your brand mascot is a killer (whale)

March 2, 2010

Tweet The challenge of being authentic on social media can be scary. Many organizations are afraid of being ‘on’ social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, where they (or their representatives) are accessible and active in real time. They worry that participating in real time on social media platforms will expose them as unthinking, out […]

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