Hewlett Packard Computers are Racist?

PR crisis communications is never dull. It is the part of the job that most public relations consultants love, because handling an issue can become a roller coaster ride and practitioners never know what type of crisis they might be presented with. Over the years I’ve worked on my fair share of crises – from date rape to ‘poo’ in swimming pools – and this video illustrates the variety of problems that can come your way.

This video is an interesting case study. The question is whether this video is a media relations opportunity or a threat.

On the face of it this video is obviously of a negative tone and therefore a threat. However when dealing with any crisis one must recognise that coverage of this nature is part of a wider narrative, and like any story there will be twists and turns along the way, and what was an isolated issue can be turned into something positive, or it can morph into something, much, much worse.

The test will be how Hewlett Packard handles and responds to the video. I am sure there is a very simple explanation, such as the fault being a one off technical error. Whatever happens, I am sure their handling of the issue will win them friends in the long run as HP are a good, solid company with an excellent track records.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for their response. Good luck to them! The first response I can find is here on Wired.com . Maybe that will be the end of the matter?

(hat tip to http://twitter.com/PRtweets/ )

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