Citizen Journalists Are Always Ready – Are You?

May 5, 2017

by Dan Ward

In the aftermath of the United Airlines “re-accommodating” incident, we’ve seen more headlines about airlines acting badly, usually accompanied by grainy cellphone video shot by concerned passengers.

There’s blood in the water, and “citizen journalists” at airports around the country are at the ready to report on any misstep.

What happens when they leave the airport and point their cameras at your company?

Many organizations “media train” their corporate spokespersons and C-Suite executives (we prefer to call it message training, because the process works beyond the traditional media interview).  But how many are training their front-line staff, the people who interact with customers on a daily basis, and whose comments and actions will be recorded by citizen journalists as soon as anything goes wrong?

Front-line staff need to know that they work in an environment in which every action they take may be recorded and reported.  They need to understand how to communicate the company’s key message with every customer they meet, in the knowledge that their interactions may be published on a blog or podcast.  They need to understand that their actions and comments could mean the difference between a happy customer and a viral video that will cost revenue and jobs.

Are your employees ready?


Sorry, AFLAC, the Duck Stops Here

March 16, 2011

by Kim Taylor

By now, you’ve heard that comedian Gilbert Gottfried was fired as the voice of the AFLAC duck for his insensitive tweets following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

After reading the tweets, I thought “of course they fired him” and “how could he?” but then I remembered … he’s Gilbert Gottfried.  He’s not exactly known for his family-friendly shtick.

Now, two days after they muted the duck, I’m wondering what AFLAC was thinking when they employed Gottfried as the voice in the first place.

When you hire someone to be the face or voice of your company, hiring criteria should extend far beyond the ability to quack.



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