PUBLIC RELATIONS LESSON

[These links and my commentary were originally published on my Facebook page on the dates indicated]

LOCAL NEWS, BUT LIKELY WITH A NATIONAL IMPACT

Kansas City Star 12/8/11.—Hyatt Hotels will not contribute to skywalks memorial — KansasCity.com

Hyatt Hotels Corp., which no longer operates the hotel at Crown Center that was the site of the 1981 skywalks collapse that killed 114 people, will not contribute to the memorial planned for a park across the street. 

So let me get this straight.  Hyatt Hotels Corporation (that used to run the hotel at Crown Center, site of the 1981 skywalk collapse killing 114 people) has decided because it is no longer in Kansas City, it will NOT donate a single penny to the planned Skywalk Memorial? 

Can you spell “public-relations disaster”?

12/23/11—Check out the latest development on this story.

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/12/22/3333245/hyatt-reverses-course-donates.html

I am thrilled that Hyatt finally decided to do the right thing.  Perhaps they decided to donate as a public-relations damage-control measure, or perhaps they finally woke up to the fact that this donation is the moral, ethical, appropriate, and kind action to take, or perhaps they cunningly calculated the long-term image of being the hotel without a heart.

Regardless, it is sad that Hyatt did not simply step up to the plate immediately.  That still boggles my mind.  I’m sorry, but to me, this one was a very clear Public-Relations 101 situation.

http://www.kansascity.com/2011/12/22/3333245/hyatt-reverses-course-donates.html








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REFLECTIONS ON FILM

The once-mammoth, Eastman Kodak Company, is now threatened with extinction.  This month the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

I worked at Kodak in its heyday in the late 1970s to mid-1980s.  I was in the research and development labs in Rochester, New York. At that time, a million dollars a day went into R&D.  This investment paid off with a new or improved product or process every three days.  This approach kept King Kodak constantly on the cutting edge.

Sadly, in spite of Kodak’s 132-year run, even in its heyday, I could see signs of the fat-and-happy blindness evolving.  As the concept and the technology of digital imaging began to emerge, tragically, Kodak somehow refused to believe its eyes.  Ironic for a company that relied on images for its lifeblood.  More than once, I encountered leadership that flatly stated there was no way possible for digital imaging ever to replace wet chemistry film.  That attitude laid the groundwork for the history we have witnessed.  By the time Kodak woke up to the realities of the technological landscape, it was too late.  In spite of valiant efforts to turn the battleship, the company had run out of time, and it was too far behind the curve.

 

Kodak illustrates for us the truism that businesses must never assume things will remain the same.  Being fat and happy can feel good, but it is bad.  Complacency and groupthink collude to destruction.

Businesses today must never assume things will always be the same.  Study your landscape, capture the trends, remain self-alert, seek alternate viewpoints, constantly innovate, and always be willing to change.  After all, as some have wisely observed: change is the only constant.

But how do you imagine a future you can’t imagine?  Well, you’d better learn quickly because the ones that do will be the future success stories.  And the ones that don’t, won’t be here.








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