Category: Presentation Training

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A Soccer Star, A Drunk Driving Arrest, And A Perfect Apology

Abby Wambach, the U.S. soccer star who won two Olympic gold medals and helped her team win the 2015 FIFA World Cup, was arrested for driving under the influence on Saturday night after running a red light in Portland, Oregon.

Her apology stood out to me as a case study for exactly what to say when things go wrong. She acted swiftly, took an unequivocal claim of responsibility, and pledged to make sure this never happened again.

She deserves credit for at least not compounding her first bad decision with a second one.

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“American Pie” Singer Is Neither A Villain Nor A Monster

Don McLean, the singer-songwriter best known for his 1971 hit “American Pie,” was arrested last week on a domestic assault charge.

Last Thursday, he released the following statement: “This last year and especially now have been hard emotional times for my wife my children and me. What is occurring is the very painful breakdown of an almost 30 year relationship…There are no winners or losers but I am not a villain.”

As soon as I read the phrase, “I am not a villain,” I knew that unfortunate word ‘villain’ would find its way into headlines—and it did.

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Is Volkswagen’s CEO Following BP’s Disastrous Playbook?

It’s almost as if Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller studied the performance of infamous BP CEO Tony “I’d like my life back” Hayward and said, “Yes, that’s how I’d like to respond to our own company’s crisis.”

VW, which is in the midst of an emissions-rigging scandal affecting millions of vehicles, has been accused by regulators of intentionally programming its engines to fool laboratory emissions tests. When asked whether his company had an ethical problem, he responded, “It was an ethical problem? I cannot understand why you say that.”

It gets worse.

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Should Subway Ever Have Used Jared As Its Star Spokesman?

Last week, Subway spokesman Jared Fogle admitted to having sex with minors and engaging in child pornography.

In light of his admission, many communications and marketing professionals are questioning the wisdom of putting a multi-billion dollar brand identity into the hands of one person. After all, there’s a reason why McDonald’s and Burger King use fictional characters instead of real people as their brand mascots.

Are they right? Or was the “Jared” campaign a good idea?

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Reader Question: Correct The Record Or Let It Go?

A PR pro recently wrote in with a challenging situation. A member of her non-profit organization’s board of directors made a mistake during an interview and misstated one of her group’s policy positions, leading to criticism from its supporters. She wondered whether she should release a statement correcting the record.

Making a call in this type of situation can be tricky. Here are the two sides of the debate, along with my recommendation for this reader.

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No, No, No: This Is Not How You Handle A Media Ambush

Last week, PR Daily and PR Newser covered the story of a St. Louis public information officer named Melanie Streeper, who attempted to thwart a reporter from interviewing her boss by shouting “No, no no!” repeatedly, as cameras rolled.

Local reporter Elliott Davis wanted to ask St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green about her take-home car, which

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The Brian Williams Today Show “Comeback” Interview

Brian Williams appeared with Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today Show this morning in his first interview since getting caught fabricating stories about past news events.

Although I thought it was a bad idea for Williams to be interviewed by one of his NBC colleagues—which throws into question the independence of the interview—Lauer asked many of the

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Tom Brady: Hero Worship Leads To Lame Crisis Response

On Wednesday, a 243-page report found it was “more probable than not” that New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady was “at least generally aware of the inappropriate actions” his team’s staff took to deflate footballs in January’s AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.

In other words, there’s a better chance than not that Brady is

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