Crisis Management

The Value of Vulnerability

Buzz Bin

There’s no shortage of “how to manage a crisis” articles, experts and opinions. But I recently stumbled upon a Harvard Business Review (HBR) piece entitled “The Organizational Apology” that raised an eyebrow. It was chock full of good advice, but established a premise that, I believe, could be dangerously misperceived or misapplied – that organizational apologies can be, almost literally, manufactured. To quote the piece, “…we present an apology formula… that provides a diagnostic and practical guidance on the who, what, where, when and how of an apology.” The authors even recommended conducting “apology rehearsals” to help ensure they are well-executed.

So many business best practices can be flow-charted. How to apologize, in my view, is just not one of them. Often, the very attempt to do this inflicts even more reputational harm and lengthens the “tail” of crisis resolution. Crises strip us of control and make organizations vulnerable. Apologies intensify that several times. Trying to minimize that vulnerability, retain control and avoid pain is human nature. The paradox of effective organizational apologies – like personal apologies – is that they demand the exact opposite. Vulnerability can be your most important asset in healing your organization and brand.


Digital Marketing

20+ Local SEO Tips for Businesses with Multiple Locations

Having strong search rankings requires thorough planning, strategy and flawless execution. Google looks at over 200 factors when ranking content and the markup, site structure, user experience and content of a website all play a role in how a particular website ranks in search.

When looking at SEO for organizations with multiple locations this can become infinitely more complicated from a technology and optimization standpoint. However, when planning out how to ensure locations rank in search there are a few major areas to consider.

What Exactly is Local SEO?

  • Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website to garner results in Google’s Local Results
  • Google will return “local results” when a geographic location is added to a search
  • For instance: “home improvement Richmond Va” will return local results because this search is aimed at finding something within a specific geographic area


Why Optimize Your Site for Local SEO?

local seo

  • Google (and other search engines) factor in location data when displaying search results.
  • People tend to include cities/states/regions when searching for locations on the web.
  • In

PR Industry Trends

A look back: brands and their misbehaving spokespeople

The chaos surrounding the Rio Olympics subsided for a time as countries around the world celebrated the incredible feats of their athletes. Records were broken, medals were won, and all was well and good.

And then, Ryan Lochte.


You’ve probably heard the tale of one Olympic swimmer misrepresenting his actions, and their repercussions, at a gas station in Rio. Lochte issued an apology for his behavior, but that didn’t stem the tide of growing negative perception surrounding the event. Nor did it stop companies for which he was a spokesperson from severing their ties with the controversy-embroiled swimmer.

Four major sponsors ended their relationship with Lochte earlier this week, including Speedo: “While we have enjoyed a winning relationship with Ryan for over a decade and he has been an important member of the Speedo team, we cannot condone behavior that is counter to the values this brand has long stood for,” Speedo said in its statement. “We appreciate his many achievements and hope he moves forward and learns from this experience.”

With today’s information age, it’s clear that companies are quicker to cut ties with spokespeople for misbehavior – Lochte’s sponsors took around a millisecond


Gen Z: Five Key Insights for Healthcare Brands

Source: Phenomena

Raise your hand if you’re tired of hearing about the Millennials.

Employers have been trying to figure out how to deal with Millennials since they entered the work force about 15 years ago and healthcare has been bracing for the changes that they might bring as consumers.  Now, it’s time to start preparing for the next generation, who will comprise 40% of all consumers by 2020: Generation Z.

Members of Gen Z were born between 1995 and 2015 and have been parented by Gen X’ers and the older Millennials. They are digital natives, born after the internet was popularized and raised on smart phones.  With the youngest members of Gen Z celebrating their first birthday this year, it will be quite some time until we feel the full impact of this generation.  However, extensive research has already been done to reveal the attitudes and behaviors of the older half of Gen Z (who go up to 21 years old), many of whom are in or approaching college or about to enter the workforce.

While Gen Z won’t dominate healthcare use in the near future, smart brands are taking notice and thinking about engagement strategies now, especially as


Why Everything Tastes Better on Vacation (and what that means for your brand)



We’ve all had that moment.

While on vacation you eat or drink something that is so transcendentally delicious, it instantly ranks among the best things you’ve ever had. The pleasure is so deep and complete it’s like your taste buds are hard-wired to your very soul. “Do I detect a hint of fresh mint, or is that MDMA? Either way, I want more.”

So you buy up as many cases as you can get through customs, or obsessively hunt down the recipe to recreate it a home. But, despite your best efforts, it’s never quite the same. Sure, it’s good, but it’s not as good as you remember it.

What’s going on here? A temporary insanity of the taste buds?

Well, sort of.

Consider this: In 2008, a group of neuroscientists in California conducted an experiment that shed new light onto how we taste. Twenty volunteers were strapped into an fMRI scanner and given samples of wine. Among them were tastes from a “$10” bottle and a “$90” bottle that, in reality, were the exact same wine. It should come as no shock that the…