I love entrepreneurs. It’s like lovin’ the bad-boy in high school. I know you know the type. They are self-absorbed and only want to talk about themselves. Their financial situation sucks and they never have any money. They are scattered and often cancel plans at the last minute. They are dreamers with “big plans” and lots of promises of future commitments. They are notorious for having a wandering eye to see if they can do better, but they always stay because they know few understand them like I do. And, I will never try to change them. I know loving them is wrong, but it’s like a drug. I want to be with them all the time. I love the way I feel when I am with the bad-boy entrepreneur. People tell me that I can do better and I should be with someone more stable. I know being with them puts me at risk and it’s a little dangerous, yet the rush is exhilarating. I know they may disappear someday and leave me high and dry. I don’t care. They make me crazy, but I love them. I’ll always love them.
What about you?
As a PR professional, it absolutely blows my mind every time a bailed-out bank steps in another pile of shit. Last night I turned on NBC Nightly News to see yet another story of a bailed-out bank spending money on an event in Vegas. Doh! Have they not seen that movie before?! The ending sucks and everyone looks like a bunch of self-centered, greedy fools.
I offer the following low to no cost, Web 2.0-based crisis PR advice to these deaf, dumb and blind bankers:
- Assess: The first step in any crisis PR situation is to assess the issue and identify whether you are in fact responsible. That should take a freakin’ nanosecond. Spending taxpayer money on Vegas boondoggles is a big, fat, hairy no-no. And I’m sure nobody was goaled with driving their bank into the ground and pushing the world economy to the brink of a depression. So if those were not the targeted goals in your bonus plan, then why are you nutbags being paid bonuses?
- Take Responsibility: Now that we have established that you bailed-out banks are at fault, the next thing you should do is take responsibility. I’m all about leveraging Web 2.0 and its low to no cost opportunities, so here’s what I suggest. Go buy a Flip for $100 bucks and pay for it out of your own pocket. Have your CEO record a raw, unscripted apology to the American people. Vote script writing off the island and just open up and genuinely fall on your sword. Use a vernacular that all blue collared Americans would use. Say that you effed up. Say it was one of the dumbest things you have done in your life and you are embarrassed to look at yourself in the mirror. Say that you can’t sleep at night in knowing you let your employees spend hard-working Americans’ money on slot machines. Say that you now regret tipping a stripper $100 when you know that a single working mother facing bankruptcy could have used it towards the cost of a loan modification. Say whatever you have to say to raise the American people’s eyebrows so they say, “Holy shit! I can’t believe he just said that!” Anything short of that will be viewed as lip service.
- Identify Changes & Open Channels of Communication: The next step is to identify a list of things you will do to ensure it never happens again. Start with making a list of all the marketing events you canceled and the savings associated with those cancellations.Go a million steps further and tell Americans you plan to push for a bill that would make misusing taxpayers’ bail-out money a felony. Put all this info on a Web 2.0-driven platform that will allow the American people to post comments. You owe them this because you really blew it. Encourage Americans’ feedback through this user-generated platform. Let the American peeps have their voices heard. Listen like you have never listened before. Respond to comments. I also suggest you set up a Twitter account called “Bailed-Out Boneheads” and tweet about each despicable thing you hear an employee has done and include their name and termination date. For shizz dudes. This is the type of thing you need to do if you ever want to restore faith to the American people and bring integrity back to your bank.
- Tell Top-Talent To Screw: Seriously…when I hear bankers say they need to pay millions in compensation to retain top talent I can’t help but laugh. Where is this so-called top-talent going to go? There isn’t a healthy bank on the planet these days so relocation is not an option. And oh by the way, what makes them “top talent?” They were the ones with their hands on the wheel when their Titanic-like bank hit an iceberg and began to sink pulling down an entire country of passengers down with it. When you tell this self-anointed top-talent moron to screw, record the communication on a Flip. Post the video on your Web 2.0 platform and let all Americans enjoy the encounter.
- Pray: I’m agnostic. I respect all religions, so I don’t care who you pray to, but I suggest you get down on your dirty little hands and knees and pray like you have never prayed before.What should you pray for? I suggest forgiveness and a miracle. You need the former and the American people need the latter.
Do you have any crisis PR advice for these bailed-out boneheads?
Disclaimer: There were/are a lot of innocent, well intentioned employees at these bailed-out banks, many of whom have suffered immensely. They are not the target of this post.