• First Oakville Toastmasters

It’s more than just talking

Here’s the new crisis public relations: When you’ve got something to say, say it right away.

Say it before your critics can say it. Say it before the media finds out. Say it loud and often. And keep saying it until nobody is listening anymore.

At Toastmasters we learn how to say things really well and thanks to Toastmasters International’s new emphasis on leadership, I’m sure we’ll be getting more information on how to say what we want to say more effectively.

Case in point is this morning’s (Thursday) mea culpa by RIM’s CIO Robin Bienfait in regards to RIM’s catastrophic failure that started on Monday morning and quickly affected the entire RIM system.

Here’s a link to the statement: RIM’s CIO Robin Bienfait’s video statement .

What do you see?

I see a very unhappy executive who offers no assurances that the worst is over and RIM is on top of the issue. The subdued background sure didn’t help. And what’s with the golf shirt. Bet he had to change from his suit.

What would I liked to have seen?

First, I would have liked to have seen something on Monday and not Thursday. This is way too little and way too late.

Second, I would have had my CEO and not the CIO on camera in shirt sleeves showing me video of him supervising the replacement of the switch in Britain which failed (quickly followed by a backup switch that also failed under the load). I’d have had him on camera saying “Here’s what went wrong and here’s what we’re going to fix it.”

Instead we got the existing video and accompanying information releases.

Look stuff happens. We all know that. My guess is RIM didn’t realize that the initial problem wasn’t going to be the larger issue. Like I said it was the backup of email the clogged the system and is delaying recovery. My guess again is the engineering staff (who are trained problem solvers were saying “We got it. We got it…..We don’t got it….We got it…We got it…Darn we don’t got it”) who created a delay in getting the initial information out faster. This a failure of leadership and RIM is paying the price big time with a loss of confidence in its customer base and a beating on the stock market.

RIM’s proprietary system has lead to this catastrophic issue and according to news commentators this is the third time that RIM has faced similar issues without coming up with a contingency plan in place. RIM management IMHO needs to show even more leadership here.

So what should RIM do now?

How about a big discount on RIM Playbooks to every Blackberry user? Now that would be a start 🙂

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