This site uses cookies to provide a streamlined experience. To learn more see our current privacy policy.

Public Affairs

Agency News

Watershed Moment: Naomi Osakas Stand Means Future Athlete Press Conferences

Naomi Osaka’s decision to withdraw from the French Open due to anxiety-inducing media appearances has ignited a national discussion about expectations from athletes when it comes to public speaking engagements.

Per the tournament’s code of conduct, media interviews are mandatory for athletes. But for Osaka, the Q&As caused "huge waves of anxiety," so she stepped away from the competition to focus on self-care, she explained in a lengthy statement on social media.

5 minute read
Agency News

How do you solve a problem like... a PR nightmare?

Barbara Laidlaw, Partner, global reputation risk and public affairs, Allison+Partners

While every crisis is different, I subscribe to the belief that the best prevention is preemption. Most crises spiral out of control when an issue like a product recall, data breach or high-profile lawsuit coincides with ill-equipped communications to manage a reputationally impactful incident. Contrary to popular opinion, most PR nightmares do not just spring up overnight. They are a product of a number of factors that limit a brand’s ability to mitigate the fallout. By focusing on what we can control in a crisis, you will succeed in reducing its impact.

5 minute read
Agency News

6 Takeaways From the Crises of 2020

The usual roundup of crisis stories from the past year—something of a tradition at PR Daily—feels a bit superfluous this year. The COVID-19 crisis, the social justice movement in the wake of the George Floyd murder and the presidential election pretty much sum up the year.

Instead, let’s take a look at the lessons to be drawn from the events of 2020. After all, everything has changed and crisis communicators must adapt—or else.

Here are the lessons industry leaders say we should take from the never-ending crisis cycle we now find ourselves in, and what that means for the future of the industry.

5 minute read
opinion

What Does This Inauguration Mean? Let Us Pause!

Twelve years ago, my wife and I attended the inauguration of Barack Obama. It was incredibly cold, and our seats were bad. But watching the elderly Black attendees sob tears of joy and happiness was a sight to behold and savor, even if we couldn’t see the president.

Twelve years later seems like a lifetime. We are now living through a global pandemic, a severe economic downturn for those least able to survive it and a far-right terrorist insurgency.

3 minute read
opinion

Incorporating Brand Reputation Into COVID-19 Considerations

By: Barbara Laidlaw and Josiah Adams 

The holiday season is upon us and with it, a surge in COVID-19 cases. Since the beginning of November, there have been more than 3.1 million new cases – the highest number for any single month. According to a Washington University in St. Louis model, 20 million Americans could be infected with COVID-19 by January 2021.  

More widespread testing has driven some of the uptick. But the reality is transmission has accelerated in virtually every region of the country with no end in sight. Contributing factors to this spike in cases include a premature reopening of restaurants, offices and other high-risk locations; a lack of alignment on preventative measures at the state level; and now, holiday travel.  

Small businesses that narrowly avoided economic ruin in spring are now on the brink of collapse due to the fallout from the resurgence of the virus. Without consistent guidance from state or federal governments, nor adequate support, businesses throughout America now face difficult decisions they will have to largely make on their own. These decisions carry significant weight, and incorrect decisions could expose brands to undue reputational risk.  

5 minute read
opinion

The Year of the Voter

By: Kristal Swim

With a few days to the U.S. election, 2020 has shaped up to be the year of the voter. Hear me out. A global health pandemic, protests for social justice, economic turmoil and natural disasters rightfully dominate the landscape. But with the fall election approaching, we are uniquely situated to embrace our position as the true decision makers in this representative democracy.

The late Congressman John Lewis noted, "Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet."

COVID-19 took an already simmering pot of important issues – healthcare, economy, climate change, racial inequity, education – and turned up the heat. Policy items affecting daily lives have taken on a new sense of urgency. For more than seven months, we have balanced, pivoted and re-examined most every aspect of our lives. 2020 has shifted our outlook on policy issues that will impact generations. The extra attention on a unique election season has emboldened an electorate to speak up. Those who vote will shape our short- and long-term outlooks.

1 minute read
opinion

The COVID-19 Vaccine & Its Implications for a Return to the Office

By: Barbara Laidlaw and Josiah Adams

The COVID-19 pandemic has often created more questions than answers. From the pandemic’s onset in March, public officials, scientists and healthcare providers have searched with frustration for solutions to the virus’ spread, treatments and, above all else, a potential vaccine.

As we enter the fall and winter months, more people will stay indoors, which experts point to as a potential cause for a second surge of the virus. In metropolitan areas like New York City, this could have catastrophic and long-lasting effects on economic and public health. The potential for a second surge, combined with nationwide political pressure leading up to the November election, has led to increased demand for development and deployment of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Unfortunately, developing a vaccine is a process that can only be fast-tracked so much before becoming dangerous and irresponsible. Brands and organizations must understand the facts surrounding a potential vaccine and make the appropriate business decisions based on them. Otherwise, they run the risk of jeopardizing months of precautions and exposing themselves to significant reputational risk.

President Donald Trump’s administration has issued conflicting messages about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. On Sept. 21, Dr. Moncef Slaoui —the head of the administration’s COVID-19 vaccine program— told reporters the U.S. could immunize those “most susceptible” to coronavirus by December if there is prior vaccine approval. Yet, the FDA recently announced it would roll out higher safety standards for the vaccine approval process that would make approval unlikely before Nov. 3.

4 minute read

View More Stories

Social Media

The Stream Podcast

The Stream

Articles and opinions delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up today.