Go Tigers!

Recordnet.com: Students get ready for rare nationally televised game

Just a quick note to everyone on the biggest event going on in the sports world this evening. When I was at Pacific, football was still king, but then it was dropped a year after I graduated.

This is a re-building year for Tiger basketball after three straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, but nothing brings in a crowd like a nationally televised game. This is old hat to some of you who went to big name schools but for us from the little schools it’s a big game. When we beat UNLV on “Big Monday” and had Dickie V. shouting “It’s pandemonium at the Spanos Center” while we rushed the court, it was a memorable moment. Especially since we didn’t have that many on the football field as seen from this quote from the Cal Bears web site referring to a game against UOP in 1991, “The Bears squared off against Pacific, coached by current Stanford head coach Walt Harris, and gave the Tigers a thorough thrashing, beating them 86-24. The Bears set 16 records that day and 10 of those have yet to be broken. Some of those records include, most points scored, most touchdowns scored (12) and most first downs (35). “

I now return you to your regularly schedule programming.

JetBlue Rides Out the Turbulence

JetBlue Rides Out the Turbulence

David Neeleman is notoriously ‘anti PR-agency’, as seen in the comment below to PR Week. I’ve held off on jumping into this discussion becuase I wanted to see it play out for a little bit. During the initial painful crisis the blogosphere and and many PR insiders were quick to jump on them. That being said, after the initial pain, they’ve pretty much done everything that I think a PR agency would have recommended to them:
– CEO mea culpa (on MSM and new media such as YouTube)
– Proactive stance with ‘customer bill of rights’

Jenny Dervin, director of communications for Jet Blue, said the company’s in-house corporate communications team of seven full-time employees drew on additional help from marketing and other departments to handle approximately 5,000 in-bound media requests at the height of the crisis. But she was resolute that the company, which has no agency, would not look for external help.
“Jet Blue corporate communications does not have a PR agency of record nor do we ever intend on getting one,” she said. “Those agencies that felt the need to contact our CEO and the corp comms department directly, telling us exactly what we were doing wrong, were not helpful and they are all going to go on a special list that I’m going to share with my colleagues in the PR industry encouraging them never to do business with those companies.”

A few agency pundits have been quoted as well giving praise to JetBlue for their response:

“In terms of media relations, Neeleman is doing a great job,” said James Donnelly, SVP, crisis management at Ketchum. “He’s doing a lot of things that you would typically expect from good crisis response. He’s been visible, humbly apologetic, and the introduction of the customer bill of rights is a textbook example of the overreaction you expect, [but] public relations goes beyond media management. In this situation it’s really going to be about the customer experience.”

“The fact that Jet Blue came forward immediately and acknowledged the problems and is committed to fixing them…is the first step toward retaining customers,” added Matt Gonring of Gagen MacDonald, which has worked with United Airlines on internal communications efforts. “The key is getting the workforce and technology aligned to deliver on it.”

There’s some momentum today in the PR blogosphere to praise JetBlue. I’m with this group. As I’ve seen many times, you don’t necessarily need an agency to navigate through a crisis.

Anyone have any major ideas they would have recommended? Other than the obvious, ‘it shouldn’t have happened in the first place?’

Hurd Turns Down Forbes Cover – Feb. 26, 2007

Great move by Mark Hurd and HP’s PR team. Many times, perception is reality and if Hurd was on the cover as “Tech’s New King” people would immediately be looking for the king (or queen) to fall.

Hurd Turns Down Forbes Cover – Feb. 26, 2007: “HURD TURNS DOWN FORBES COVER

Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd turned down an opportunity to appear on the cover of the Feb. 12 Forbes because he refused to appear solo for the piece on ‘tech’s new king.’

Forbes’ Feb. 12 issue.
The former NCR boss, who assumed the reins at H-P 23 months ago, wanted to be flanked by members of his management team. Hurd also insisted that Forbes agree not to ‘crop them out.’

Instead Hurd, who is called the ‘UnCarly’ in a swipe against ousted CEO Carly Fiorina, appears in a picture surrounded the H-P workers inside the magazine.

The piece mentions that while Fiorina liked to ‘schmooze with world leaders and business titans at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Hurd skipped the gabfest.

Earlier, he spent the day working the floor at the Best Buy near H-P’s Palo Alto, Calif. headquarters to hear what shoppers had to say about H-P products.

Hurd’s turnaround of H-P included laying off 15,300 people in the personnel, finance and in-house tech departments.

H-P’s net is up 158 percent to $6B (fiscal `05) since Hurd joined the company. An H-P printer graces the cover of Forbes. “

SacStarts March Dinner

Last week, I went to my first SacStarts dinner. Great group with some fun ideas being exchanged. One of the best parts was being around lots of folks who are really into the ‘culture’ of start-ups, something that I have missed since our move up to the 916 in 2003. This includes the general passion for what they are doing and interest in what others are doing. This type of informal meet up is much more fun than the ‘forced networking’ of many other formal organizations.

Some of the folks there were Adam Kalsey, Layton Wedgworth, Scott Hildebrand, Elise Bauer, Carson Black, Matt Mullenweg, and Barry Abrahamson (who shared some very cool WordPress and LaughingSquid stickers with everyone!). Apologies if I’ve forgotten anyone!

One of the funniest parts of the evening was a reference to someone making a statement that was referred to as ‘Wineresque.’ Yes, I’m a dork.

The next dinner is March 28 at Il Forno Classico in Gold River. If you’d like to come just register at www.sacstarts.com so they can get an idea how many folks will be there.