Terrorism And The Value of Public Relations and Media


Just in case you wondered if media matters to bloodthirsty, violent revolutionaries, it does – in a very big way. Now that The Islamic State has taken over a vast territory, they have the challenge of winning the hearts and minds of these captured communities. To do that, the terrorist group is launching a massive propaganda campaign to pitch its idea of a utopian state for the Muslim world.  Up to this point,

What Churches Should Do If Your Pastor Has Been Using AshleyMadison.com


Because of the revelations recently about the data leak from the Ashley Madison website that encourages people to engage in adultery, my friend Ed Stetzer posted this statement on his blog: “Based on my conversations with leaders from several denominations in the U.S. and Canada, I estimate that at least 400 church leaders (pastors, elders, staff, deacons, etc.) will be resigning Sunday.” He followed with some excellent advice to the ministry leaders who may be caught up in the scandal. Because of my focus on media and culture, I wanted to follow up with some practical advice elders, board members, and other church staff need to know if a member of your pastoral team has been involved in Ashley Madison, or any other moral failing:

What Should Companies Or Nonprofits Do After a Spokesperson’s Arrest?


What do you do after your national spokesperson (or CEO or pastor) has been arrested? (Worse – for being a pedophile.)  That’s what Subway’s leadership is asking this week after the news that Jared Fogle, the former Subway spokesman, plead guilty to possession of child pornography. The federal charges state that he repeatedly paid to engage in sexually explicit acts with children and that he received and distributed child pornography. The documents also say that Fogle, 37, used Web sites for commercial sex and traveled extensively to engage in sexual acts with minors from 2007 until June 2015. So the question becomes

The 10 Most Common Communication Problems


You may not know that before he was President of Fox News and Chairman of Fox Television Stations Group, Roger Ailes ran a corporate communications firm. He advised presidents like Ronald Reagan, celebrities, and major corporate CEO’s. In his book “You Are The Message” he lists the 10 most common communication problems that apply to speakers, executives, and leaders of all kinds. Here’s the list, because it’s worth thinking about. Which of these do you have the most difficulty?

What To Do The First 24 Hours After a Leader’s Moral Failure


In the religious and nonprofit world, a leader’s moral failure still has a major impact. Along with the theological and scriptural issues, there’s also a significant trust issue involved. The common thinking is that if he or she can’t be trusted to honor marriage vows, then the leader is likely untrustworthy in other areas as well. However you personally fall on the spectrum of that thinking, the truth is, churches, ministries, and nonprofits take a heavy hit when a leader has an affair, or worse, is involved in illegal sexual behavior. In these cases, how the organization reacts in the first 24 hours is critical. Having advised numerous organizations through these difficult situations, here’s my recommendations for the first 24 hours of the crisis:

Should You Consider a Lawsuit Over a Negative Social Media Post?


I’ve spent time on this blog warning social media users about inappropriate posts.  But should a church, nonprofit, or company start a lawsuit over a critical social media post?  Outside the United States, it’s almost open season on employees who post negative content about their job on social media – largely because freedom of speech isn’t such a valued principle as it is in the United States.  In fact, defamation is becoming a huge issue on social media sites and legal action is dramatically increasing internationally. In Canada, 15 percent of all Web 2.0 rulings were on defamation cases. In France, it’s 49 percent.  However,

The One Thing You Should Never Do in a PR Crisis


Every organization – particularly nonprofits and religious organizations – should be ready for a public relations crisis, but sadly, very few actually are ready when it happens.  In today’s digital world, there are many more opportunities for mistakes, moral compromises, and financial wrongdoing.  This earlier post is a great conversation about what to do during a organizational crisis, but if – and when – something disastrous happens at your church, ministry, or nonprofit, there’s absolutely one thing you should never do:

The Power of Admitting Your Mistakes


Even though we’ve all eaten Domino’s Pizza, few people know just how successful the company is today. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Patrick Doyle, CEO of Domino’s Pizza was profiled for his success leading the company. But it wasn’t always that way. In fact, when he took over the company was on a rapid slide to oblivion. People hated the pizza, and their PR was in the trash heap. But

Why Your Organization Needs A Spokesperson


Whatever the size of your church, nonprofit, or business, you need a spokesperson. Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with a crisis or disaster, but my advice is to always be ready. The question isn’t “if” a crisis will happen, but “when.” Even if you’re involved in assisting after natural disasters you’ll encounter the media on many levels, so it’s always good to put your best foot forward. So what makes a good spokesperson? Here’s what you need to consider:

Lessons From Bill Cosby’s Viral Meltdown


When it comes to the multiple allegations of rape pointed at comedian and actor Bill Cosby, many people are asking, “Why now?” Why are these accusations which date back to 2006 suddenly going viral – all these years later? Back then, Cosby made public denials, settled a civil lawsuit out of court and kept his reputation intact – until now. But why it’s suddenly exploded anew can teach us a lot about how reputation management and real or perceived wrongdoing have changed in the age of