Like many people, I shop regularly at Target. It’s one of my favorite stores. So when I first heard news of the data breach they’d experienced, my heart sank. I am a Target Red cardholder, and had used my card to shop there three times during the time period identified. 

And then I learned about the full scope of the attack – that it affected shoppers who used ANY credit card at Target during that time, and involved more than just information about their card numbers. I saw many people panic, and agreed that if I had used my debit or another card there, I would have been canceling it immediately. 

From the breaking of the news story right up through the letter I received as a cardholder this week, Target has done a number of things – some good and some questionable – that affect their reputation. While law firms have different concerns and vulnerabilities than a consumer store like Target, mistakes, oversights, and crises can and do occur and we can learn from Target’s handling of the data breach. 


Continue Reading What the Target Data Breach Aftermath Teaches Us About Crisis Communications

I’ve been debating whether or not I wanted to jump on the bandwagon and address yesterday’s social media debacle with Kenneth Cole.  If you’re not familiar with what happened, both Nancy Myrland and Gini Dietrich wrote great posts that also recap it here and here.

I decided that I did want to add my two cents – I was certainly dismayed by Cole’s tweet yesterday, though not surprised.  If you’ve driven down the FDR in Manhattan over the last ten years, you’ve seen his snarky political billboards on the side of the road.  Why I think non-politicians shouldn’t use their power and money to push their political philosophies on the rest of us is a whole other post, but I thought Cole really stuck his foot in his mouth yesterday.

As Nancy mentioned in her post, he needs some serious crisis communications work – we had a speaker on this very topic back in 2007, so I thought I’d dig through my conference report archives and share some of his wisdom with you.  Although I’m particularly disgusted by what Cole said yesterday, social media and other gaffes can happen to the best of us, and we need to know what to do if we’re in the same situation.


Continue Reading Communication Crisis – My Two Cents on the Kenneth Cole Scandal