DOW! We ‘inadvertently premature released’!

No, It’s not what you think.

The accidental sending of a press release to Bloomberg News Tuesday, forced Dow Chemical to release it’s third quarter earnings Tuesday evening, rather on Thursday, as scheduled. ‘Inadvertent premature release’ is bad enough, but when that release is bad news? A mistake goes from bad to worse. The press release contained information that Dow Chemical was going to undergo ‘restructuring’ after the release of the third quarter earnings; also known as layoffs. Despite having surpassed sales expectations, Dow Chemical plans on cutting 2,400 jobs and shutting down 20 plants. This ‘restructuring’ is estimated to save the company $500 million dollars. This news, actually cause stock prices to jump.

The company’s response? To release the third quarter earnings early.

Dow used traditional newswire and it’s own website to release the earnings, rather than filing straight with the government, as search engine Google did last week, resulting in a PR nightmare.

Jeff Corbin, CEO of KCSA Strategic Communications attributes Dow Chemicals success to the adherence to the investor relations best practice.

What can we learn from both Google and Dow Chemical?

Referring back to our PR Toolkit, when dealing with PR issues, it is important to remember who you are trying to reach. Dow Chemical, despite having potentially damaging news leaked early, they chose to inform their audience (their investors) via newswire. Conversely, when Google’s potentially devastating news leaked early, their choice to not inform their investors, caused their stocks to drop, indicating that investors.

To Google, I would suggest that they re-evaluate their internal communications process. This incident indicates that they do not include their investors as a part of the company, and that they could benefit from a way to communicate with this audience. If they wish to continue filing earnings directly with the government, I would suggest that they strategize on a  more effective Crisis communications plan, to help minimize the effect a situation like this has on the company in the future.

A good PR situation.


Lots of times you hear about negative PR and how bad some PR can be. I decided to go ahead and quickly post a topic about a good PR solution for a company. This good PR can be used to really make them look good if they decide to go ahead and use it right.

The very first male model was allowed to be on the Price is right. I think that the price is right can easily take this situation extract some fantastic PR from it. I think that this is really a groundbreaking moment for the modeling industry. The industry has been mainly dominated by females and now males are starting to appear on the scene. The price is right could easily put on there social media networks how they support equal treatment of the sexes. They could also elaborate on different topics and how they do not judge in any way like some other TV shows might. The price is right could also go on to say how the other female models were very welcoming of a male model. This would also be great if they decided to go ahead and talk about how the price is right is managed by people with open minds. When people hear the stereotype “model” they generally assume something like a Victoria’s Secret model. This is a very good idea because it really makes the price is right look good.

Red Bull uses profanity to thank Felix Baumgartner?

Red bull had posted a comment about Felix Baumgartner who recently set a world record 24 mile high sky dive. They were careless and did not check their twitter spelling before they posted. Sure this was a careless mistake but the company does not want to convey that they are careless. They should have simply done a spell check before they decided to tweet. This could also convey to followers that Red-Bull does not care about using profanity and that they have no respect for their younger users. It is hard to think that they really did miss the spelling and created a profanation word out of their misspelling. I think that this might have been on purpose but if they did do it on accident they should quickly delete it and respond with a small apology.

A good example of bad PR.

“A man was arrested in Chesapeake, VA after a Chevrolet Dealership sold him a new Chevrolet Traverse for over $5,600 less than the sticker price.

A staff member of the dealership accidentally sold the vehicle for less than he should have, and when they realized the mistake, they tried to get the Danny Sawyer to sign a new, more costly contract for the same vehicle.

Sawyer refused to sign the contract, arguing that he signed the previous one under the agreement of the first price and would not purchase the vehicle for the new price. The company responded by calling local police officials claiming Sawyer had stolen the car.”


This is a classic example of what not to do. The dealership must be very mismanaged and corrupt to allow this to happen. This is clearly very bad public relations for the car dealership, not to mention General Motors, parent company to Chevrolet

Clearly the car was not stolen and Danny’s civil rights have been completely violated because he was wrongfully imprisoned. I worked in the automotive sales business for Chevrolet in the past and one of the biggest things especially being a car dealership is not receiving any negative publicity. Most likely what will happen when they go to trial is that the car dealership will realize that they made a mistake and they will try to settle as soon as possible so that the car dealership is not essentially dragged through the mud with court proceedings and litigation.

I can almost guarantee that their sales are going to drop substantially because of this negative publicity. A lesson learned here for all businesses is that if the business makes a mistake they need to own up to it. I would not be surprised if the car dealership is actually shut down or the management is completely re-staffed because of this problem. With the car dealership needs to remember is that they’re not only representing their own name but they are representing Chevrolet. Chevrolet is not happy with the car dealer and Chevrolet will not let them sell their cars anymore.

No matter where you are in business always keep your morals and check. I was pretty surprised to hear that a car dealership would actually go ahead and call the police. If you ask me on a personal level they essentially cut their own rope. Danny is definitely doing the right thing by filing a lawsuit because this kind of behavior should definitely not be tolerated in any business field. What astounds me is that they reported a car stolen when there was a clear paper trail. When confronted with the problem that might turn into some kind of a lawsuit you must really take small baby steps to figure out what you can do to make it right. The dealership could have called up Danny and explain to him the problem and might have paid the $5600. Now because of ignorance and mismanagement of $5600 problem turned into a $2.2 million problem in a very short amount of time which is why you always take baby steps making sure what your next move is so you do not step on the wrong stone.

Challanging a Leader

I have touched on this topic in other posts briefly but I would like to elaborate.

In the world we live in  today we are accustom to seeing a lot of corruption and dishonesty. In various places we see that the motives of leaders are for just the leader’s self interest. A leader must have clear motives and he or she must be able to expect arguments, debates, or challenges by their followers. This is an expectation of being a leader.

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Aristotle and Socrates on Leadership – Part One

Plato, Socrates and Aristotle

Aristotle was the student of Plato, who was the student of Socrates

I’m a very big fan of Socrates, essentially the ‘Godfather’ of philosophy. He was the equivalent of Sigmund Freud with psychology. Socrates meant the world to his followers but he never published anything or wrote down any of his works. This is where Aristotle comes into play because he was one of Plato’s best students. Plato was one of Socrates’ students. Aristotle learned a great deal from Plato and subsequently Socrates and came up with his own philosophy.

Three quotes really come to my mind when thinking about Aristotle and Socrates and what we can learn from them about leadership. The first being, “a friend to all is a friend to none” and the second, from his metaphysics, is ,”being qua being”. The first quote is not all that hard to decipher but the second one is deeper. “Being qua being.” When you break it down it means essentially, ‘what is the essence of oneself?’ What is your makeup? What has made you the way you are today? The last quote is from Socrates in the Crito, (which Plato wrote) where he says before he drinks the sap from the hemlock, “It is not living that is important, but living rightly.” Continue reading