Read enough crisis communications plans and you’ll see a host of contingencies for communicating with journalists, lawmakers, shareholders and customers. You’ll also see a variety of templated news releases, dark websites and proposed hashtags. Rarely, however, will you see any strategies and tactics directed at one of the most important audiences in any crisis: the employees who work for the organization at the center of the incident.
Why are employees so often overlooked? Maybe it’s because communicating with them is a routine matter at most organizations. Maybe it’s because employee communications lacks the glamor of media relations and executive communications. Or... ⇢ read more
Harold Burson, cofounder of global agency powerhouse Burson-Marsteller (now BCW) who died last Friday in Memphis, Tenn., was an icon in the public relations industry.
He was 98, and still worked three days a week until late last year.
Burson cofounded Burson-Marsteller in New York in 1953, and the agency grew to become a global force with a deep roster of international clients.
A Memphis native, Burson attended the University of Mississippi, then joined the U.S. Army where he worked as a reporter for the American Forces Network, writing scripts for radio broadcasts on the Nuremberg trials, notably the proceedings against Hermann Göring.... ⇢ read more
As reputation keepers, much jargon continually tries to make its way into our vocabulary and play deck. Some of it’s for a season, but some stand the test of time and become best practices. Being authentic is one of the latter.
Merriam-Webster defines authentic as “true to one’s own personality, spirit or character.” Also, “not false or imitation; REAL.” When thinking of how this applies to brands, organizations, communications strategy and the real life of companies and their people (both internal and external audiences), this word among all others is a moral compass for distinguishing the good from the great.
At the... ⇢ read more
Earlier this month, International House of Pancakes (aka IHOP) made a bold decision to rebrand. At least, that’s what people initially thought. IHOP announced June 4 on Twitter it was “flippin’ our name to IHOb.” The company didn’t tell anyone what the “b” would stand for initially, building suspense for the big reveal.
People guessed everything from biscuits, to bacon to butternut squash. Many people assumed “b” would stand for “breakfast” since IHOP is known for its pancakes and other morning fare. For a week, IHOb (the name had already been changed on Twitter) continued to engage with followers via social... ⇢ read more
by Sharon Kreher and Barb Harris, teamworks communication
At our recent annual PRConsultants Group conference, we had the privilege of spending some time with Dennis Skinner of Many-To-One (www.many2one.com), an inspiring speaker, on the topic of creativity and innovation.
One of the first points he made was to say that everyone has the potential to think creatively. We just don’t take the time to stop what we’re already doing long enough to challenge ourselves to think about things in a new way. We get trapped in boxes and assumptions of our own making. We limit our options and possibilities with self-imposed rules... ⇢ read more
By Amy Kossoff Smith, Founder/Editor of PRCG Powerlines and Founder/President of Write Ideas, Inc. and Power Hour Editing
It was time to “plug into PRCG” with business development and community service in Tempe, Arizona, for PRConsultants Group’s 15th Annual Conference. Some 42 members attended, representing 40 markets, for education, networking, and strategizing how to capitalize on public relations opportunities in 2018.
The State of the Network revealed a robust combination of ongoing development, growth potential, and an unprecedented amount of intra-group collaboration. Next, members enjoyed a hands-on “Embracing Your Creativity” workshop with Many-to-One’s Dennis Skinner. This 17-year creativity veteran outlined the barriers... ⇢ read more
I’m alive and well, thank you, and not wearing shiny suits with shoulder pads anymore. Recently, a pair of Hubspot blog posts made the rounds claiming that PR needed a re-invention, and PR professionals do too. Halligan’s follow up post, entitled, “What is the ideal profile for a modern PR person” (Brian Halligan) raised some hackles in the circles of veteran public relations consultants… and so, I respond.
First, it should be noted that while Halligan is a gifted writer and clearly passionate about covering trendy topics in Hubspot’s popular blog in order to garner clicks and e-book downloads, there are some... ⇢ read more
“I will contribute to Puerto Rico’s recovery by not becoming an unemployment statistic.”
That statement became my mantra as soon as I knew my family, friends and employees were safe after Hurricane Maria wiped out Puerto Rico’s power, telecom, and basic needs infrastructure.
Yes, we have helped in volunteer efforts and community building initiatives, but making sure that my clients were properly served and that we kept our jobs became a top priority, especially the first days after the storm.
This is how we “Ricanstructed” our business during the first 72 hours after Hurricane Maria:
Knock, Knock. It’s me.
As all wireless telecom systems collapsed... ⇢ read more
The drumbeat over the growing spate of “fake news” stories reached a crescendo last week when the 2017 AP Stylebook felt compelled to address proper journalistic style when referring to “the modern phenomenon of deliberate falsehoods or fiction masked as news circulating on the internet.” Ironically, “fake news” is far from new. The Onion and National Inquirer were peddling this cheap brand of journalism long before Al Gore ever invented the internet.
What is new is the impact “fake news” is having on the Fourth Estate; where trust in traditional news media is at an all-time low. A September 2016 Gallup... ⇢ read more
One of the traditionally best routes to positive brand identity, media exposure, and best of all—public trust, is if the founder, CEO, or public face of an entity you represent is, or has the potential to be, what we call a “thought leader.”
“Thought leader” is a jargon-y term, somewhat overused, but succinctly descriptive. A thought leader is a trusted expert in his/her field, often called upon to discuss innovation, best practices, or even the future of said field.
For example, Elon Musk is a thought leader in electric vehicles and space travel; Chris Brogan is a thought leader in marketing and... ⇢ read more
By Deborah Trivitt, APR
I’m not a fan of the recent fad to make a list of the “best,” “worst,” “most,” “least” of anything. I’m pretty sure the people making the lists are arbitrarily picking from their favorites or least favorites to make the list. I doubt any real research goes into the making of any of them.
Recently PRSA Tactics columnist Tim O’Brien, APR, invited me to participate in making the list 4 Myths About Being an Independent Practitioner
As I prepare to begin year 18 as an Independent Practitioner, I can assure you his list is “well-researched, and insightful.”... ⇢ read more