Post from the Dark Side, Part II
For those of you following the Twitter hacking kerfluffle, you are probably aware of the debate about how well (or not) they’ve handled their crisis. You may also have seen co-founder Biz Stone quoted on why they’re choosing to handle communications internally. From next week’s PRWeek (subscription needed):
“…when we have these challenges, it’s an opportunity to show what sort of character and integrity we have, as opposed to delegating to an outside firm.”
Emphasis mine. So tell me — when did using an outside resource to execute your intention with professionalism and alacrity (whatever that intention might be — in this case, containing a crisis) become synonymous with compromising character and integrity? I recall similar silliness from JetBlue after their infamous February 2007 ice storm delay debacle. Jenny Dervin, director of communications, said at the time: “Jet Blue corporate communications does not have a PR agency of record, nor do we ever intend on getting one.”
This would have been fine (if not a little short-sighted) had she not added this for the benefit of those agencies presumptuous enough to reach out to JetBlue offering perspective and crisis services:
“Those agencies that felt the need to contact our CEO and the corp comms department directly…were not helpful, and they are all going to go on a special list that I’m going to share with my colleagues in the PR industry, encouraging them never to do business with those companies.”
Yikes. Glad DeVries didn’t end up on that list. I wonder if any of our sister IPG agencies did, like Weber Shandwick or Golin Harris or MWW…or…oh, wait. Looks like JetBlue hired MWW to handle crisis communications last June. Quite a turnaround — what’s up, JetBlue?
“We felt it was time to add professional experience to our staff, and because it was just good business.”
Yes! Turning to communication professionals to provide counsel and executional arms and legs during challenging times is a good thing. It does not mean a company has compromised ethics, character or integrity. I wonder who said that, anyway?
Jenny Dervin, director of communications.