BlackBerry Layoffs Add To PR Disaster

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has gotten rid of a vast mount of employees in the last year, and the company’s PR department is understaffed and unable to deal with the pressure. Positive headlines about the company are difficult to come by. Another bout of negativity broke this morning. Reports revealed that the company has laid off 250 more employees at its Waterloo, Ontario home.

According to local media source CBC, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has gotten rid of 250 more people at its Waterloo operation. The layoffs bring the total number of firings at Waterloo to 850 inside a few weeks.The company recently announced a plan to get rid of around 40% of its staff as it tries to deal with a failing smartphone business.

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BlackBerry sinks in PR disaster

The layoffs are a planned part of the company’s turnaround, but it leaves the firm’s PR department with nothing to do but craft boilerplate staff reduction statements. Today’s said that the company “will do everything in our power to treat our employees with compassion, while offering support during this time of transition.”

To the world BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has the appearance of a company slowly folding itself up into a smaller and smaller package. It its unable to make a profit and it doesn’t seem ready to release a new smartphone line next year. BlackBerry is facing trouble on a number of fronts, but PR may be one of the biggest.

There have been a lot of companies that have managed to stoke optimism even during cataclysmic transformations. BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is not one of them. In recent weeks the company has had the appearance of a lost child. It botched the launch of BBM for Android and iOS, failed to go private with Prem Watsa, failed to be sold at auction, decided not to sell itself and took on more debt.

BlackBerry redemption is possible

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) may appear headless, but that doesn’t mean the company is done for. Investors are still valuing the company at more than $3 billion. The firm’s patent portfolio, its brand and its current suite of software are still worth a lot of money. Unfortunately its ongoing business is not, and it is leaking human capital.

Prem Watsa thinks that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) can recover. Before it can manage a change it needs to shake off the perception that it’s already dead. That won’t be easy, but it should be a top priority for the company’s management.