Posts Tagged 'JetBlue Nike Toyota brand crisis'

Social media is too important to leave to the marketing department.

B2B and MediaBistro both covered our NYAMA event on brand reputations and social media, held on January 20th.

Here are my additional observations, to round out their coverage:

1.  Social media’s relationship to a brand crisis can be like putting out fire with gasoline.   It accelerates everything.

A potent example can be seen on the streets of Cairo.  Social media didn’t create the underlying problems but it almost certainly has shaped the narrative and contributed to the scale and visibility of the protests.  The Egyptian government’s blocking of the internet had the effect of further magnifying the situation.

I don’t mean to trivialize the situation in Egypt by comparing it to branding.

2.   You can’t confine social media to the marketing department.  Or, more to the point, you can no longer operate companies with silos between marketing the rest of the organization.

Jenny Dervin shared how JetBlue now has a whole team monitoring and managing social media around the clock in a space that resembles nothing less than ESPN’s SportsCenter.  Previously all of this was handled by one individual who, as you can imagine, had precious few hours of uninterrupted sleep for more than a year.

3. There is no social media rulebook.  Everything will continue to evolve in ways that are not always predictable.

For that reason companies need to invest the resources in developing the necessary skills.

And for the same reason, companies need to be open about reinventing their marketing framework for a world that demands greater flexibility.  Here is where the skills of journalism come in handy.  Companies need to develop the competencies of narrative, like a great journalist.

Is social media recklessly ruining brand reputations?

Any brand can get into trouble, often for reasons completely out of the blue.  The question is not “if” but “when”.

Nobody wants to be a case study like Tropicana or Gap’s logo recall.

Be prepared.

This coming Thursday, learn how JetBlue dealt with the fall-out from their flight attendant, Steven Slater, going awol down an emergency slide.  How did they handle the immediate attention of all media, all over the world?  Was twitter a lifesaver or a sore point?

Erich Joachimsthaler will present new research on Social Currency.  Can it provide some protection to brands when a crisis hits?

And the incomparable Kirk Stewart will give us the new rules for handling brand crises in the world of social media.


“Is Social Media Creating Brand Crises: The Role of Social Currency”
Kirk Stewart,
Executive Vice President at APCO Worldwide, former head of Corporate Comms at Nike
Jenny Dervin
, Director of Corporate Communications at Jetblue Airways,
Erich Joachimsthaler, Founder and Managing Partner at Vivaldi Partners
Moderated by NYAMA Board Member Randall Ringer, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Verse Group
Thursday, January 20th 6:00-8:00 pm at the Ney Center, Y&R Building (285 Madison Avenue)
Register online at


Sign up now at    If you aren’t yet a member of the NYAMA, then use the code VIPBRAND for a special discount for readers of this blog.

See you there!


What’s a marketer to do – or – Navigating a brand crisis in the rough seas of social media

Mark the date on your calendar.  January 20th.  6 to 8 pm.  Or better yet, go to and sign up!

Join me when 3 terrific marketers share their experiences managing brand reputation in the age of social media.  I’ll be the emcee of the evening’s event.

The headliners:

Kirk Stewart, EVP of APCO Worldwide (and former head of Corp Comms at Nike)

Jenny Dervin, Director of Corporate Communications at JetBlue Airways

Erich Joachimsthaler, Founder and Managing Partner at Vivaldi Partners.  Author of the award winning “Hidden in Plain Sight”

Any brand can find itself tossed about in the sea of social media.  Just look at Starbucks in last week’s New York Times (see my previous blog post).  Or Gap.  Or Tropicana.  You don’t have to have a BP or Toyota sized problem to find your brand being tweaked on twitter.   We’ll have a lively conversation about some very high profile branding events, with first hand reports from Kirk, Jenny and Erich.

Kirk is on the front line of brand reputation in his role at APCO.  Before joining APCO he was at Nike, dealing with brand crises ranging from protests over child labor to star athletes getting into trouble — Tiger Woods type of trouble.

Perhaps we can convince Jenny to tell us the inside story of what kind of chaos was created last August when a flight attendant, Steven Slater, made his dramatic exit down the slide from a JetBlue plane.

Erich will share insights into Social Currency, based on Vivaldi’s new study.  You might have seen it written up in Fast Company a few months ago.  And I’ve been told that there will be complementary copies of Erich’s Hidden in Plain Sight.  The book won the AMA/Berry Prize, among other honors.

So, sign up at and come join us on January 20th.  This is being held at the Ney Center at Y&R (285 Madison Avenue).  Best to sign-up in advance, since there is limited seating.

The doors open at 6 pm for networking and refreshments.  The main event begins promptly at 6:30 pm.


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