Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Client transparency in a crisis is essential, but the secret sauce is vulnerability

As a communications professional, I’ve come to accept — and joke about — the negative terms used to describe our profession. From the more genteel “wordsmiths” to the oft-derogatory “spin doctors”, “PR hacks” (and a few not publishable names), PR professionals probably have as many negative monikers as lawyers. Years ago, finesse and spin were lauded as masterful and strategic, especially during a corporate crisis. As the public has grown more astute, transparency emerged. I’d submit a further ingredient is actually the “secret sauce” in effective transparency: vulnerability. I once heard a Captain of Industry say that he found he was most... ⇢ read more

Do Not Occupy

Waiting to board the final leg of a two-flight trip, a number of things go through my mind. First and foremost was this blog post. It was four days late and I really don’t like being late. I thought, "What should I write about?" A few things popped into my head, some focused on customer service. I started to be more aware of my surroundings as I boarded the aircraft. Listening to announcements a bit more intently, seeing how the agent eyed my phone, noticing how the first flight attendant was probably having a long day, avoiding eye contact.Turning the corner, navigating... ⇢ read more

Facebook Taps Journalists Again

Facebook grabbed headlines last year when it cut its “trending topics” editorial team. Now, it’s back in editor hiring mode.  Recently, the social media leader announced plans to hire what it is describing as a “small team” of veteran journalists – likely 10 or fewer – to choose content that will be featured in a section of the news tab, a much-discussed product Facebook will begin testing on portions of its U.S. user base toward the end of October. The journalists will help select the content that users see in a section of the news tab called Top News. Contents of the... ⇢ read more

Ten lessons for marketers from the D23 conference

The new P’s of marketing may just as well be pixels, princesses, pirates, pixie dust and pre-orders. They inspired ten lessons for marketers at the D23 conference. Thousands of Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm fans descended upon the Anaheim Convention Center for the ultimate biennial celebration of enchanting animation and swashbuckling storytelling. I attended with great interest as the much-ballyhooed event proved to be a smorgasbord of product rollouts, behind the scenes access and exclusive sneak peeks. As a marketer, I had a chance to embark on a master class in action as The Walt Disney Company (DIS on NYSE) burnished... ⇢ read more

The Importance of Humanizing Your Clients

A number of years ago, we represented the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), which has provided patients with in-home nurses for 125 years. The services provided by VNSNY are essential, and they help many patients and their families, but to many people, the health care industry is dry and incredibly serious. So, how do we promote such an organization to the press in a way that is fun and interesting, while still highlighting the importance of the service it provides? Finding the Story We found our answer in Sandra Fleming, the VNSNY nurse who zipped from client to client on... ⇢ read more

How to Reverse a Downward Spiral of Public Outrage

Airbnb, formerly a big, bad corporate bully, has found a way to endear itself to local communities. What it’s done serves as a modern model for excellent community relations and earns five stars from this public relations consultant. In 2013 the company launched its Open Homes Program, a disaster response initiative that makes it easy for Airbnb hosts to provide space for people in need when disasters strike. As far as I can tell, Airbnb receives no financial gain from doing this. Recent floods in Northern California prompted Airbnb to activate the program in February and then extend the program to March... ⇢ read more

Fyre Festival’s Lack of Honesty a PR Nightmare

By Fran Stephenson, Principal, Step in Communication If you haven’t yet heard of the Fyre Festival, there are two new documentaries—one on Netflix and one on Hulu -- which highlight the massive failure of a 2017 luxury music festival promoted by entrepreneur Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule. It was such a debacle that it landed McFarland in jail, left hundreds of contractors, suppliers and employees unpaid, and ruined the livelihoods of citizens of Great Exuma, the Bahamian Island that was the event site. It would be easy to dissect every misstep about Fyre Festival because there were a lot of them. But... ⇢ read more

What PR Pros Can Learn From Fortnite

By Brian Chandler, APR If you’re looking for a so-called “Victory Royale” with your public relations work, or counsel to clients, you might want to set your crosshairs on how Epic Games handles public relations and marketing around its popular game Fortnite. In case you’ve been off the grid or stuck under a rock for the last two years, Fornite is the most popular video game available right now. It is easy to think of video games as strictly for kids and teens, but Fortnite has attracted individuals of all ages, demographics, geographic locations and cultures, with more than 125 million players... ⇢ read more

David vs. Goliath – Who wins in the PR World? You’d be surprised.

Today, I took a few minutes for the PRConsultants Powerlines blog to speak with Janet Tyler, former owner of Airfoil Public Relations and currently the founder of True Depth, an executive coaching and management consulting firm specializing in working with business owners and senior leaders in the technology, manufacturing and professional services arenas. Click on the photo to view our conversation:   Janet will be speaking at the upcoming PRConsultants Group annual meeting in Detroit in January 2019 and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get a little insight into Janet’s thought process as it relates to David vs Goliath,... ⇢ read more

Public Speaking is a PR Leadership Skill

PR professionals work hard to craft messages, communications, and presentations that get key points across to the target audience. We inform, educate and persuade. It’s our strength. It’s what we do in PR. However, without strong public speaking and presentation skills, audiences become distracted, messages aren’t received, and brands are diluted. Competency in public speaking is a leadership skill that PR pros need not only to elevate their own business and brand but to coach and inspire their clients and executives. Public speaking sometimes means a formal speech or even a TED talk. It includes business presentations, strategy briefings, training sessions, pitches, and... ⇢ read more

15 Years. 15 Lessons.

It’s been 15 years since I decided to leave the “comfortable” lifestyle of having a secure, well-paying bi-weekly paycheck to enter the rollercoaster life of being self-employed. In 2003, becoming an entrepreneur and opening a startup was not a cool, hip trend as it is today. For many, I was insane. A decade and a half later, I look back at the achievements, mistakes and challenges we have experienced. It hasn’t been easy. We have endured a long economic depression and a devastating hurricane. Despite these trials, the lessons learned have been valuable. #1: Leave with the door open It was July 2003... ⇢ read more