Category Archives: Negative Messages

Free Video for Classroom Use: Sharing Negative Information Without Being Negative

We're excited to launch a new series of brief videos that you can use to supplement your lectures. These videos address specific communication challenges and offer practical advice that students can apply now in their coursework and take with them on the job. We're producing two versions of each video. The instructor version concludes with […]

A Bumper Crop of Corporate Crises: Discussion Resources for Your Classroom

Between network security breaches and random corporate blunders, it's been a rough few months for GM, Target, Neiman Marcus, Adobe, Michaels, Lululemon, SeaWorld, US Airways, Yahoo, and about half the population of the Internet, thanks to the Heartbleed glitch. Their grief is our good fortune, however—at least in terms of providing discussion material for business […]

Hall of Fame: Hailo Shows a Positive Way to Communicate Negative News (with PowerPoint Slides for Classroom Use)

Hailo is a popular taxi-hailing service operating in London, New York, and other major cities. With a quick tap on a smartphone app, passengers can hail any Hailo-registered cab in the area, without waving in the street or hunting for a place where taxis are likely to be found. The system does have a potential […]

The Crowd Is Watching: Social Media and the Shrinking Margin for Error

Judging from the vociferous comments in the social media atmosphere, one might think that Netflix's decision to split itself in two or Bank of America's introduction of a debit card fee were some of the worst horrors ever visited upon the human race. BofA isn't likely to reverse its decision, even if thousands of people […]

Teaching Students to Keep Their Cool After a Public Insult

Consumer-review websites such as Yelp can be a boon or a bane to local businesses. They can help businesses with little or no advertising budget get exposure through positive word-of-mouth, but they can damage businesses when unhappy customers use the Internet to vent their frustrations. When a bad review is justified, it can alert potential […]

Hall of Fame: Toyota Uses a Negative-News Situation for Positive Communication (with PowerPoint Slide for Classroom Use)

Situations that involve negative news are sometimes opportunities in disguise. After Toyota had issued several vehicle recalls and been subjected to quite a bit of media scrutiny regarding product quality, the company’s chief quality officer took the opportunity to discuss the meaning of a product recall and explain how Toyota was responding to the situation.We've […]

Hall of Shame–and Fame: Chargify Infuriates Its Customer Base, Then Shares the Lessons Learned

Want to make an unpleasant situation even worse? Spring the news on people with no warning. Chargify, which provides securing billing solutions for small to midsized e-commerce companies, charges its clients flat monthly fees based on the number of customers they have. This tiered pricing plan keeps costs low for e-commerce startups that still have […]

BP’s "Gulf of Mexico Response" Website Links to Parody Twitter Account

We can only assume that BP’s website has been hacked. As of October 7, 2010, the “Contacts” page in the “Gulf of Mexico Response” section of BP’s website links to a parody Twitter account, @Oil_Spill_2010. The downloadable PDF (see link above) has current captures of the BP webpage, the parody Twitter account, and BP’s real […]