aw firms and their clients address negative press each and every day. Traditionally, law firms and their PR agencies used press releases, press conferences, and other courting of the media to stem the tide of negative press.
However, in these days of 24/7 cable TV news and citizen journalists spreading negative press virally across the Internet, the traditional may no longer work.
Law firms should take a page from David Neeleman, CEO of JetBlue, whose recent flight cancelations and delays are household news. This sort of news can sink a start-up/low frills airline like JetBlue.
Neeleman took to YouTube to take full accountability, personally apologize, and promise immediate improvements were forthcoming. As Jeff Jarvis, my source for this post, says “It’s quite unpolished but that’s part of the appeal. The guy has circles around his eyes; he’s stressed; he’s trying, and that’s what comes across. He’s using YouTube to speak directly to his customers and putting himself at their/our mercy.”
LexBlog client, Marler Clark, commenced a class action lawsuit against ConAgra today on behalf of individuals who became ill with Salmonella infections after consuming Salmonella-contaminated Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter. News of this class action is on every news show and running across the ‘news ticker’ on the bottom of cable news channels.
My guess is the expensive PR people for ConAgra are not YouTube savvy.
Update: JetBlue CEO’s action praised in San Francisco Chronicle article.