PR Lesson: FedEx Wastes No Time Addressing Embarrassing Video

Over the holidays, a video went viral showing complete negligence by a FedEx employee, just tossing a computer monitor over a fence rather than properly delivering the item. See that video below, as well as the company’s response, which has been viewed rather positively by communications critics.

10 E-mails to Delete

Not all e-mail scams start with the easy to detect con: “I’m a rich Nigerian prince who needs your help moving millions of dollars. And guess what – I’ll give you a hefty sum of money if you just help me out and provide your bank account number.”

Cnet’s Tech Republic (a site for IT pros) recently blogged the top 10 e-mail scams to watch out for. And some of them look remarkably similar to legitimate messages.

Here are a few to be wary of:

  1. Fake Facebook “friend” messages mimic the real deal. Pay attention to the text in the “to” and “from” fields – if it doesn’t look right, don’t click on the links. Also, make sure the URL is (or whatever social networking site the message claims to be from) before clicking. 
  2. Virtual holiday cards are a nice way to send friends or clients an inexpensive greeting (the Chamber started creating its own two years ago). Scammers quickly picked up on the growing popularity of these though. Bogus holiday cards likely won’t tell you the name of the sender; instead it will say something like “A friend sent you a card.” Tech Republic recommends doing a web search of the card service before clicking on the greeting.
  3. If you’re not expecting a package, be leery of e-mails from what appears to be a delivery service. Scammers are sending messages from what appear to be FedEx, UPS and others that say a package could not be delivered because of a problem with the shipping address. The e-mail asks you to fill out an attached form so the parcel can be delivered. Instead of a package, you’ll end up with a computer virus from clicking on the attachment. 

Others on the list: fake admin messages; fear-mongering messages; account cancellation scams; threats from the government; "you’re a winner!"; census survey says…; and in Microsoft (or Apple or Dell or HP) we trust. Read the full list and details on how to avoid these scams on the Tech Republic web site.

Notes and Quotes from Newt

Newt Gingrich spoke and answered questions for nearly two hours at a Council of State Governments’ meeting in Lexington, Kentucky earlier this year.

Among my favorite "Gingrichisms" from that day:

  • "If we don’t have substantial change from our current system, we will not be capable of competing with China and India in 25 years."
  • An author of two World War II novels, Gingrich says it’s "startling to realize how competent we once were. In three years and eight months, we moved 15.3 million troops. It took 23 years to add a runway to the Atlanta airport."
  • Washington backed away from support for FutureGen, a clean coal energy project scheduled for Mattoon, Illinois. The government is now saying it will have a clean coal plant in 2016; China’s first clean coal plant will be in 2009
  • Relaying a comment from Fred Smith of FedEx that government can’t distinguish between a cost and an investment. Smith said he couldn’t have explained (to government officials) why he needed a wireless computer for his drivers. "It would have been listed as a cost, not an investment."
  • One of the offices for American Solutions, the organization Gingrich founded and chairs, is in the Silicon Valley to allow regular conversations with entrepreneurs .

More to come from Gingrich in Lexington, as well as a one-on-one interview with the influential leader in the September-October BizVoice magazine. Gingirch comes to the Indiana Convention Center as keynote speaker for the Indiana Chamber’s 19th Annual Awards Dinner on November 6 — just two days after we elect our next poltiical leaders.