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The latest hot topic both within The Culture and among business professionals is all about the Dallas restaurant owner who raised his voice at a group of Black female patrons for twerking in his establishment. While parts of his stance on the issue are justified, recorded video of his response sparked a social media hell storm. While many fail to agree on whether he was justified or not in his approach, there are lessons to learn about how to respond in times of controversy and , from a public relations perspective, when it’s necessary to stand firm and when it’s best to take the “L.” …


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Professional development is fun. I enjoy it because I want to continue growing in my career and taking this journey to higher heights. As it is, and I’ve blogged about this before, there are not a lot of Black people or people of color in creative fields — especially in Kansas City — compared to our white counterparts. Networks like MimConnect, The CCYN Network and ColorComm are all collectives I follow consistently to find resources for Black communications professionals across the country to continue growing and learning together. When I saw that ColorComm was hosting a virtual conference, I quickly signed up. More than 2,000 other professionals had the same idea and on Tuesday, June 30, we hopped on Zoom to spend a full day learning from a host of women in leadership about the climate of our country. It was the best 8-hour workday ever. Speakers offered up advice and shared resources on how we can take action and influence justice, equity, diversity and inclusion where we work. …


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Who would’ve thought when 2020 began that we’d all be working round clock to manage the same crises? As small businesses and organizations start cutting back budgets to maintain some savings with shutdowns and scaled-back products and services, many owners have found themselves taking on more communications and social media management roles. These tips, tricks and resources will help relax your nerves as you work to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

THREE TIPS FOR COMMUNICATING ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS

  1. Take caution in this time of heightened sensitivity to not scare your audience with bad news, assumptions, theories or opinions. …

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The University of Kansas Athletics Department had some serious ‘splainin to do following Snoop Dogg’s performance at Allen Fieldhouse. News of the fiasco quickly spiraled as the rapper’s performance featured profanity (surprisingly, no weed), pole dancers — or acrobatic performers as they’re apparently called now — and money guns. With the department already under fire for NCAA violations, you can bet they’re in full crisis management mode right now. Rock Chalk… what the hawk?

​We’ve yet to hear a serious explanation surrounding their choice of artist for the event and, quite frankly, it doesn’t matter much at this point; but they did release a statement saying that they “expected a clean version of the show.” Here are four magical insights (risk management tips, rather) from #Kelseydh that brands can use to avoid this kind of trouble in the future. …


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“We sincerely apologize to the Native American community for the insensitivity of our newest campaign. Though it is never our intention to offend or make light of any culture or race of people, we realize that we did not consider the implications of (insert problematic act). Going forward we will seek to have more diversity and inclusion on our team so to avoid these mishaps in the future…” or something like that, right?

​We’ve read the statements time after time that brands repeatedly release after pushing out problematic products and campaigns. Then they almost always follow up with an announcement that they’ve hired a new “VP of Diversity and Inclusion,” whose job it is to hire more underrepresented minorities and migrate them into company culture. Diversity and inclusion should not be an afterthought or hail mary, they are not safety precautions and they are not buzz words — they’re conscious efforts. Diversity and inclusion ensures the varied perspectives of underrepresented groups are in the room and at the table. …

About

Kelsey D. Haynes

I’m a strategic communicator by day. And by night? I help create magic for brands and blog about my life experiences navigating adult life as a millennial.

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