The 2013 Business Crappies: Kenneth Cole Memorial Inappropriate Response to Current Events Award

The2013  Kenneth Cole Memorial Inappropriate Response to Current Events Award goes to 
a three way tie of breakfast offenders!
Marriott, Epicurious, and Kellogg
In November, Kellogg’s cereal brands misstepped while  promoting their “Give a Child a Breakfast” campaign, which donates money to school breakfast programs. Boy, did they misstep hard… with this tweet:

People were disgusted […]

Announcing the 2013 Crappies Business Award Winners!

As the year draws to a close and the a new one begins, we like to recognize organizations and people who did their best to make us cringe, wince, and facepalm this year. Yes, my friends, these are The Crappies Award Winners.

Let’s see who is taking home a golden […]

The 2013 Business Crappies: “Passing the Buck” Business Award

The 2013 “Passing the Buck” Crappy Award goes to ….LululemonLululemon has had a rough year. The athletic clothing manufacturer started the year by recalling a line of yoga pants that were unintentionally see-through — but they seemed to manage the crisis well. Then their CEO resigned. Then stories started […]

How to Panic, Pass the Buck, and Alienate Customers: McDonald’s Style

After another embarrassing front page gaffe, McDonald’s has taken down its McResource Line employee site. And issued one of the worst statements possible by way of explanation.
“We have offered the McResource program to help our valued McDonald’s employees with work and life guidance created by independent third party experts. […]

Winning in a Crisis: How Sonic Built Trust, Created Loyalty, and Neutralized a Racist PR Nightmare

We spend a lot of time explaining case studies of what NOT to do – just last week, we discussed How McDonald’s Convinces Employees It Doesn’t Care.  It gets frustrating. So when a company responds to a crisis with empathy, skill, and honesty, I can’t help but crow.

And that’s exactly […]

Corporate Credibility in a Crisis: How McDonald’s Convinces Employees It Doesn’t Care

In case you missed it, McDonald’s is suffering from a serious case of food-in-mouth disease. Here’s the short of it:The CrisisMcDonald’s in embroiled in an intense, messy, very public wage dispute controversy. McDonald’s workers are painting the company as a cold, heartless corporation that exploits its workers – valuing […]

Disaster Preparedness


This is not a usual blog post for Me2 Solutions – but with the typhoon in the Philippines –  Meredith and I thought it would be a good idea to just list sources of information for disaster preparedness – why re-invent the wheel?  Just Googling disaster preparedness will give […]

The Care and Feeding of Interns and Recruits

photo credit: tbisaacs via flickrRecent news stories have been highlight a practice among companies that use unpaid interns – being sued. You can read up about it here and here and here.  Yes, unpaid interns are suing companies because the interns never reaped the benefits they were supposed to have […]

Crisis Management is Free: The Awesome Problem-Solving Tool You Already Have

People have this misconception that crisis management is about complicated tools and expensive training – as if the only way to solve complex systemic problems is with another complex system.Aaaaaaaand it drives me crazy. See, that’s kind of like trying to treat a burn with boiling water: it never […]

Case Study: Why Information Leaks to the Press – Podcast Episode 6

When a scandal hits the news, the story you’re reading is never the whole story — and that’s not an accident. Information leaks for a reason. Anytime anyone shares any kind of information with another person, it’s because they hope it will help them somehow. They want to make […]

Five Ways People Hide Bad News – Podcast Episode 5

It’s human nature to cover up bad news. Luckily, how people cover up that bad news is also human nature. Learn the five ways people, media outlets, and politicians try to hide bad news and distract you from learning the truth in a crisis: Flooding, Burying, Blocking Fact Checking, Divertion, and […]

Oreos and Jedi: How to Look Smart When Someone Challenges Your Data

So, Nabisco just got publicly shamed by a bunch of high schoolers. Dan Anderson, a consumer math teacher in upstate New York, was trying to help his students get a better grasp of the subject with a hands-on experiment: determining whether or not Double Stuf Oreos really contain double […]

Belly Ballot Hoax: Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow

Back in January, a startup baby name website called ran a “Belly Ballot” contest. They promised to pay $5,000 to an expectant mother who let their readers vote to name their baby. It was supposed to launch their new Belly Ballot feature, which allows friends and family to […]

Slow and Silent and Secondary: The Most Dangerous Crisis of All

photo credit here

Over the weekend, I talked about how mismanaging communication during an initial crisis can trigger an immediate second crisis – the kind that causes angry, confused customers to hit you with a landslide of complaints in a short time period.  These are called secondary crises – ones […]

How NOT to Be a Hero: A Beginner’s Guide to Abusing Power

photo credit: Chicago Art Department here

Have you ever wondered where the point is when a person can become a hero or a louse?*

Darlene Druyun
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

In the late 90s I provided support for Acquisition Reform to the Undersecretary of the Air Force.  In those days, there was […]

Winning, Failure, and the Washington Post Test

photo credit: mike.benedetti  here

I’m fascinated with failure. I’m fascinated with why people fail, especially people with lots of experience in positions of power. What causes someone who has demonstrated the drive, intelligence, smarts and success to end up committing genuinely stupid criminal acts?  Yes, stupid – because they are bound to come out at […]

Crisis Management and Mental Illness: What We Can Learn from Paula Deen

photo credit: lifescript hereIt’s been a bad week for celebrity chefs.In three short days, Paula Deen gone from Food Network darling to being publicly fired by the network. You can read more about it here, but let me sum up: A former employee filed a lawsuit against her charging […]

Rebuilding Trust with the People Who Matter in a Crisis

Yesterday, I told you about the Australian military sex ring scandal and shared Lt. Gen. Morrison’s brilliant response, challenging decades of entrenched military culture (you can click here to watch the video on YouTube). He did something else in that three minute video that everyone must do during a […]

Crisis Management, Excuses, and the Nigella Lawson Choking Scandal


Photo credit: harlequin_colors via flickr here

On June 6, culinary superstar Nigella Lawson was photographed crying at a restaurant as her husband, advertising mogel Charles Saatchi, repeatedly grabbed her throat with both hands during an argument.  He did it at least 4 times, while she cried and tried to placate […]