Company Policies vs The Public

Glenwood Gardens. Image courtesy of KPIX and CBS. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2013.
Glenwood Gardens. Image courtesy of KPIX and CBS. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2013.

On Sunday morning I watched the TODAY Show share a story that went national and outraged many. A story that disturbed the public and one that made me wonder, even as a publicist who studies and practices crisis communications techniques, is there a right way to discuss a company’s policy once it is facing the public? Can the brand survive the public’s feelings?

Here’s the story.

Lorraine Bayless, an 87-year-old resident of Glenwood Gardens, an independent living facility in Bakersfield, California that is owned by Brookdale Living, died after a nurse refused to conduct CPR on the patient. Now we will never know if CPR would have saved Ms. Bayless, however, the outright refusal of a nurse during a 911 call does not settle well with the public. In spite the operator begging the nurse to help the 87-year-old woman by administering CPR, the nurse would not do so nor, allow anyone else in the facility to attempt the life saving technique. Here it is, someone who is thought to help maintain and preserve life, not doing what their job typically entails.

According to the nurse during the call, it is against Brookdale Living’s policy to perform CPR. In fact they released a statement providing condolences to the family, but said its “practice is to immediately call emergency medical personnel for assistance and to wait with the individual needing attention until such personnel arrives.”

This isn’t something you would expect a facility to say since they employ health professionals, however, after some reading online on other homes, this isn’t an anomaly and perhaps if you have family members in a home, you should learn their policy prior to them taking residence there.

Nonetheless, the twist of the story is that Bayless’ daughter is a nurse and is satisfied with her mother’s treatment. However, the public is not and has taken to the internet to voice their thoughts on the topic.

The public court is loud and fickle. Mistakes in personal or business judgment seem to roll off much easier than policies going against the preservation of life or happiness. Think about PG&E and Chromium VI (the case that made Erin Brockovich famous) and their practices that led to people getting sick. Or what about something as simple Yahoo’s announcement of no more employees working from home. The public has a way of wanting to help others decide how to run a business.

So what does a business owner do when they’re faced with a potential loss of business over their own internal processes? In most cases you’ll find the business, like this one did, say they will carefully review what happened to find out if things were conducted properly. That’s in the basic pr toolbox. With the use of the internet, that excuse only holds for a short period of time. Businesses must be prepared to show why their policies benefit their customers or be prepared to change their services or practices.

It will be interesting to see how Brookdale Living recovers from this death and news story. With facilities across the U.S. they will need to do some extensive crisis communication steps to recover with minimal loss to revenue.

What do you think? How should Brookdale move forward?

Please comment below with your thoughts. They may be used for future articles.

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstores.

 

Zig Ziglar is Still the Trend

Zig Ziglar quote, Failure is a detour, not a dead end street. Above Promotions Company, Tampa, FL 2012.

Although out of the public eye for some time now, Zig Ziglar’s passing away yesterday was still a shock to many. As a teen, I can recall seeing him speak to a large audience in a venue in Tampa. Even then, I realized this man had something to say. He sparked interest in me to be an effective and productive person in my business and personal life. What can you say about a legacy, an icon for the world that continues to inspire people to achieve their best while encouraging others to do the same along the way.

Zig Ziglar who started his motivational speaking career in his 40’s, published 30 books and spoke to thousands along the way. His way with words made him one of the most quoted speakers. His quote, “Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street” has been engraved into the minds of many who directly listened to him or followed others that did. Before social media, there was good old fashion word of mouth and traditional media outlets. Ziglar’s words were shared exponentially. He has been setting trends within the business community for decades through presentations. Meeting presidents and dignitaries around the world was a part of his life and if those high profile individuals could share their experiences, we would see his positive effects constantly being spread to others. His death and the news of it going viral through Twitter, Facebook, Google and Yahoo, simply shows Ziglar is still able to and will continue to trend.

So many lessons can be learned and expounded upon with his life and teachings, but a huge one from a marketers perspective would be that when you have a solid brand you’ll never stop trending.

Do you have any in-person memories or even ones from recorded lectures you would like to share?

Please comment below. Your reply may be used in a future article.

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstores.

The Dick Clark Legacy: A Reflection on Business and Life Lessons

Dick Clark ad for American Bandstand.  Photo courtesy of TV Guide and Wikipedia.

The passing of Dick Clark on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, was one the entire nation felt and discussed on television, radio, social media and offline.

As memories from fans were posted, Creative Director of Above Promotions Company, Ebony T. Grimsley, began to reflect on being on the set in 1994 taping Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve in Orlando with her fellow high school friends. “It was a honor to have been a part of history. A moment I will never forget. Dancing and having fun on camera for the legendary Dick Clark is a rare memory that will always be cherished.”

Various moments in history have and will continued to be shared as the entertainment icon made an unforgettable mark on the music and television industry.  From American Bandstand, The $25,000 Pyramid, TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve and the American Music Awards along with a host of made-for-tv movies.

https://i0.wp.com/www.blogcdn.com/www.theboombox.com/media/2012/04/dick-clark-456-41812-1334782563.jpg

It’s hard pressed to find someone alive today who hasn’t seen one of the Dick Clark Productions.  So what did we learn from his many contributions?  It’s ok to have a good time?  Music can be enjoyed by people from all backgrounds?  New Year’s Eve is a big deal?  Sure at a surface look it can be agreed those things are all true, but for those in the business and out to lead a full life, what did we learn?

  1. Take one product.  Build it.  Perfect it and move on to the next one.  (Dick Clark Productions)
  2. Own your product, not just sell it.  (Dick Clark Licensing)
  3. When facing adversity, don’t give up.  (Dick Clark Survives Payola Scandal)
  4. Listen to Your Gut. (Dick Clark Integrates American Band Stand and Showed Support to Motown.)
  5. Build a Brand By Listening to Your Audience. (Dick Clark’s extensive resume and Acquisition of the brand and production company Dick Clark Productions.)
  6. Recognizing a Winning Combination. (Dick Clark Creates the American Music Awards)
  7. Leave a valuable imprint. (Celebrities speak out.  He created and inspired many careers.)

Whether you’re an entertainment fan or not, his life provides solid business and life lessons.  What you take from them, will be added to your own life’s success.

Dick Clark was right in his quote, “Music is the soundtrack of our life.”  We now salute you and your work Mr. Clark, “For now, Dick Clark … so long.”