Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

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

Hurricane Florence Offers Crisis Management Refresher

What crisis management lessons can a disaster like Hurricane Florence provide to organizations and the PR pros who support them? Recently, I flew into North Carolina to help a friend with what started as a small, rural nonprofit dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.  My friend saw a need and stepped in — using her natural gifts and savvy about people — to grow the organization to be a key player in her county during Hurricane Florence. Our PR Challenge: Staying “rural relevant” while quickly getting the organization “more sophisticated” in media relations and big-time grant opportunity development. After my years of working... ⇢ read more

New Ways of Sharing News

Each year, we are lucky to have the opportunity to attend the “Valley Publicity Summit,” hosted by the Valley of the Sun Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. It’s a great gathering of PR folks and media representatives -- producers, editors and reporters – from traditional and online outlets. Beyond getting an opportunity to do some “speed pitching” one on one with these media reps, the summit also hosts a media panel to talk about how the media want to receive story pitches. This year, panelists provided great insights specifically into how they like to receive information. As communication professionals, we... ⇢ read more

From Wayne’s World to Yours: How to Succeed with Community Access Television

  By Martin Cohn, Cohn Public Relations Many equate community television with the broadcast of local government meetings. However, community access TV, or CAT for short, fills a unique niche in the media landscape, providing communities with the opportunity to create programs of local interest. First, some history Public Access Television came about with the rise of cable television in the late 1970s. In exchange for the rights to lay cable wires on public land, cable companies were required to donate a portion of their revenue to provide facilities and airtime to allow public comment. The Cable Franchise Policy and Communications Act of 1984... ⇢ read more

Answer this question (ALWAYS)

I made this mistake early. “C-Level folks don’t take kindly to being trained.”  So now, I media coach a ton of people.  I talk a lot to a lot of folks about how to talk with the media.  Non-profits to brass…all individuals who are waaaay smarter than I am.  But you would be surprised how many of those professionals pass up the opportunity to answer the easiest question outside “say and spell your first and last name…so we have it on tape.” For 17 years, I was a TV reporter. I was the one holding the microphone, asking the questions. Because I know how it went... ⇢ read more