December 26, 2012
‘Tis the season to be jolly, unless you’ve topped our list of PR blunders in 2012. There are definite lessons to be taken from the gaffes made in 2012. Many companies are quickly grasping the power and influence social media now has upon their business, their brand and their fans. This year proved the good get better and the bad can get worse in the blink of an eye.
August 9, 2012
Having just returned from Outdoor Retailer Summer Market (ORSM) in Salt Lake City, it struck me how so much of the activity at the show was about immediate gratification: need help? text here; need to find out where you are? use the GPS in the show APP; want to find out where to get beer? Click on this or; need to find a friend quickly? press here. At the same time, we were all seeing the ramifications of now in the coverage of the 2012 London Olympics. The entire globe is weighing in via Twitter, and in some cases, with less than admirable results and sheer stupidity.
The kicker is that the same rules of media relations (about using common sense) that applied in the days of traditional media, still apply today. It’s just that people forget because they feel they have to respond right now. Read More
July 5, 2012
The “boys of summer” usually refers to America’s favorite pastime, when baseball players divert our attention with sensational plays, home runs or tantrums during the hot steamy long days of our favorite season.
However, I would like to draw your attention to a different group that could be anointed the “boys of summer” — the producers at CNN and Fox, the management at NBC and this week, Anderson Cooper joins this crowd.
What do they have in common? They all became their own news instead of reporting it – producing both good and bad results.
April 21, 2012
Pinterest may be the flavor of the month, but another social media fad will soon come along to replace it as the new media darling. Instagram was recently grabbing headlines because of its acquisition by Facebook. No question, the social media revolution and the changes that come with it are at the heart of conversations taking place in Wall St. boardrooms, newsrooms, schools, professional locker rooms, marcomm departments of virtually all industries and, lastly, in the world of public relations. It has dramatically altered the way PR professionals represent their companies and their clients on a day-to-day basis and there is no going back. Public relations is no longer a day job; it is 24-7. It is fast, always online and unforgiving. Those thinking about a career in PR need to be completely up for the challenge.
However, in spite of this online uprising, where email is king (often the only way journalists communicate), and bloggers become legends, there is still something to be said for doing things the old fashion way – through the art of face to face conversation. The days of taking a reporter out for an expensive lunch are gone (as much as we enjoyed it), but being able to craft a one minute elevator pitch to deliver in person about a product or service is still very much in vogue. We were reminded of this when we spent three days in New York two weeks ago meeting with business, consumer and trade media. Yes, email is convenient and standard operating procedure, but there is nothing like spending time with media and being able to look them in the eye. Seeing a positive or negative facial expression to a story, a color or a technology provides data that you cannot glean from an email.
An obvious conclusion? Perhaps, but it is important not to forget the origin of public relations and the fact that it was founded upon the notion of establishing personal relationships in order to convey a specific point of view.
In today’s non-stop world, that point of view may land on a highly regarded blog or on a fabulous website with millions of unique viewers – definitely a home run in our world. But the adrenaline one feels through securing a segment in the first hour of the Today Show or a placement in the Wall Street Journal above the fold is unmatched.
The PR profession has been given a new set of tools to communicate, but in my 30 plus years of experience, I can’t help but think the more things change, the more they stay the same.
March 15, 2012
When I posted Greg Smith’s, “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs” from yesterday’s New York Times on my LinkedIn and asked if he was a disgruntled employee or hero, a very quick response came back from a colleague: “A Profile in Courage.” While I am not sure yet what to think, it is one of the most engaging PR stories to unfold this year.
What is also interesting about Mr. Smith’s letter of resignation is that he chose to bring this to the “The Gray Lady” of journalistic circles, what some might call one of the oldest, most traditional forms around of media, a newspaper. It was not initially posted on Facebook, or a blog, or tweeted, because, one would suppose, Mr. Smith thought it wouldn’t be noticed as quickly. No question, he was determined to make his point with all the noise he could muster. Interesting choice. Read More
December 29, 2011
The New Year is quickly approaching and, with the New Year, comes resolutions. If I could guess, I’d say that a popular resolution for 2012 might, or at least should have to do with improving Twitter behavior. I don’t need to dwell on how powerful social media can be, but I do want to reinforce the point that Twitter can either make or break a reputation. Reputations can be ruined in the short time it takes to type 140 characters or less. 2011 was a hell of year for bad tweets – here are my thoughts on the absolute worst: Read More
November 17, 2011
Ah, what would we do without Herman Cain and Rick Perry and their PR mishaps? They both should know better, At least Rick Perry made fun of himself, though I am not sure that is a source of comfort nor does it instill a sense of confidence for a presidential candidate.
Herman Cain just doesn’t get it – I mean he really doesn’t get it – I mean he really doesn’t know what he is talking about. His most recent pause when discussing Libya was painful to watch. This lapse, on top of the harassment accusations, is rich soil for PR professionals, news professionals, and comedians.
If you really think about it, aspiring politicians are faced with the same central task as marketing pros selling or launching a product – it is about brand building and developing brand loyalty. PR, social or traditional is fundamental to that task. There is the logo, the packaging, the online support, and print ads. But perhaps, nothing is as important as public relations. Read More
October 15, 2011
Having just returned from the Outdoor Industry Association Rendezvous last week, my head is swimming with trend tidbits gleaned from three days of seminars and guest speakers.
It was also a week full of shock and awe including the passing of Steve Jobs, the uprising showcased by Occupy Wall Street and the President again pleading for someone to pass his jobs bill.
While our assembled group discussed issues pertinent to the outdoor industry, Apple devotees around the world left apples and candles at Apples stores and garbage piled up where Occupy Wall Street demonstrators left their mark. Read More
July 19, 2011
Rupert Murdoch and his cast of characters are a train wreck. To quote Rolling Stone one hour ago, “At long last, Rupert Murdoch has made it onto the Mount Rushmore of whiners.” I couldn’t agree more.
What did he do wrong? Everything beginning with believing his own press, ignoring the seriousness of the issue and not owning up to horrible missteps executed by his favorite lieutenants. Crisis management 101.
July 7, 2011
What started as a missing child investigation for Casey Anthony’s daughter three years ago, has turned into a media firestorm surrounding a murder trial, which USA Today referred to as, “the social media trial of the century.”
This week, Casey Anthony was found not guilty of first-degree murder and two other felony charges for the death of her daughter, but found not guilty of four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to law enforcement officers. Like the verdict reached in the OJ Simpson case, there was shock and dismay from both the media and the general public, as both had been passionately condemning Anthony as a murderer for the past few months. Within two days of the verdict, we are seeing jurors on late night TV and the prosecutor on CNN.