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In the News: Expert Opinions From PRSA MBA/Business School Program Committee

Short-term communications choices often have long-term ramifications. The PRSA MBA/Business School Program Committee responds to the strategic communications considerations that business leaders could have employed to change the headlines:

  •  The Wall Street Journal, “Crisis of the Week: VTech Breach Exposes Children’s Info,” Dec. 14, 2015 After a series of articles published in late November on Motherboard revealed how a grey hat hacker had been able to access the names, photos and contact information of 6.4 million children and adults from VTech's servers, VTech communicated the breach to those affected, apologized to their customers and hired consultants to investigate the breach and prevent it from re-occurring. Anthony W. D'Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA, PRSA 2016 National Secretary and MBA/Business School Program Board Liaison, commented that:

    • “VTech Chairman and Group CEO Allan Wong has been out front, explaining the company’s response and demonstrating empathy as the grandfather of a three-year-old who might have been affected. This isn’t something a leader can delegate if expecting to be seen as responsible and responsive. As children are involved, VTech must remain especially sensitive to privacy concerns, and aggressive in future prevention efforts."
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  • The Wall Street Journal, “Crisis of the Week: 7-Eleven’s Worker Pay Reaction,” Sept. 8, 2015 7-Eleven Stores Pty Ltd. came under fire after reports that some of its franchise owners weren't giving their employees their fair share of salary and benefits. Judy Phair, APR, Fellow PRSA, president of PhairAdvantage Communications and MBA/Business School Program Committee Co-Chair, commented that:

    • “Smart business leaders know the difference between accepting responsibility and liability. They know that assuming responsibility and acting accordingly are both the ethical and smart responses to a crisis. However, 7-Eleven Stores Ltd. has spent more time distancing itself from allegations of illegal labor practices by some franchisees than working to solve the problem and regain consumer confidence.”
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