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Tag: PR

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At Issue } essential reading

Top PR Blunders of 2013 and What Brands Can Learn

Kiki Nichols
Dec 3, 2013

With 2014 fast approaching, now is the perfect time to reflect upon the good, bad and the ugly of the previous year — especially the ugly — in an effort to avoid similar #fail moments in the future.

Communication's Biggest Secret: Knowing When To Keep Your Mouth Closed

Cheryl Conner
Jan 8, 2013

Many times, the ability to remain silent is the best communication strength you could have. When is silence not good?

Owning Its Maps-App Flop Is a Brilliant Marketing Stroke by Apple

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Oct 4, 2012

Apple's apology for the shortcomings of its Maps app demonstrates once again why its branding goes so far beyond what most marketers are willing to consider. Every CMO should take note of the power of acknowledging reality.

Outsourcing Your Voice: Lessons For Brands

Jaime Hoerbelt
Aug 23, 2012

Who’s controlling your brand message? Recent high-profile Twitter blunders from Progressive Insurance and online store CelebBoutique underscore the challenges of outsourcing your voice as a brand.

How to Be Your Own PR Agency When the Media Calls

Glenn Llopis
Jul 2, 2012

Today’s fast, furious and instantaneous news cycles allow leaders the opportunity to become active in media conversations and get discovered on a moment’s notice. As such, you must become more informed about the news that impacts your voice both directly and indirectly. Whether it’s a Twitter hashtag discussion, LinkedIn or Facebook group conversation, your local news, blog or national news story, you must be prepared to address the issues in a succinct and objective manner.

The Days of "Manager Knows Best" Are Ending

Sujai Hajela
Feb 2, 2012

To get a glimpse of what tomorrow's young global managers might be like as leaders, take a look at how today's young people think about communications.

Carnival Is Failing Spectacularly In The Handling Of Its Costa Concordia Crisis Read more: http://w

Kim Bhasin
Jan 24, 2012

Carnival has a massive PR crisis on its hands, and its handling of it is making things even worse for the cruise line. The Costa Concordia disaster has left at least 16 people dead, with 17 still missing. But it's not so much the circumstances of the crash ruining the brand, it's the company's terrible management of the crisis.

6 Steps for Protecting Corporate Reputation in the Social Media Age

Layla Revis
Jan 3, 2012

It takes years to build a good reputation, but seconds to damage it beyond repair, as executives at companies from Dell to Domino’s certainly have found out. This was a sentiment echoed by executives at the Senior Corporate Communication Management Conference in New York when discussing social media and corporate reputation and how to embrace the new reality of immediate communications.

BOOM! Goes the Dynamite Under Facebook’s Google Smear Campaign

Sam Gustin
May 13, 2011

In the annals of shady public relations stunts, Facebook’s attempt to surreptitiously plant negative — and highly misleading — stories about Google into leading media outlets will surely go down as one of the most ham-handed in recent memory.

Braided Journalism and the Future of Public Relations

Valerie Maltoni
Oct 18, 2010

Maybe you have seen the news. In case you missed it, Shel Israel wrote about it in a recent post on braided journalism, a term he coined a little while ago to describe a developing practice of traditional and citizen journalists starting to intertwine through mutual need. This is also the latest example of enlightened experimentation from Dell, an organization that is leading on its way to what Dachis defines a social business. They were first in implementing a site for customers to submit and vote on product ideas -- IdeaStorm -- and first to coordinate social product launches at the same time with traditional announcements.

'Mad Men' Offers Lesson in Agency Branding

Oct 18, 2010

These days, an agency is both blessed and cursed by what feels like an endless array of communications channels into which it can insert its brand. There's all that older stuff, plus corporate websites, blogs and, sexiest of all these days, social-media channels like Twitter and Facebook. The practice of telling an agency's story has become an always-on, 24-7 process that stacks up next to all those other always-on, 24-7 processes that are also pretty important -- like servicing clients

Guillotine Owners Stay Ahead

Oct 5, 2010

I had an inane exchange with a social media consultant on his blog last week that reminded me of a truism: just as the rule for understanding politics is to follow the money, an important quality of social media experience is revealed when you consider the role of the megaphone owner...or, in this case, the guy who operates the guillotine. Our topic wasn't important and the guy is probably an otherwise fine human being; I'm much more interested in what our "conversation" told me about the role of social tools like blogging, especially when they seem to be considered by many people to be viable alternatives to traditional media outlets, or often an outright replacement for them. I'm troubled by that prospect, even as I'm thrilled and encouraged for the future potential applications of social media technology

Who Should Own Social Media?

Oct 5, 2010

When part of my garden fence fell down this week, my dog was delighted, my neighbor exposed, my wife mortified and my impatiens completely flattened. After spending a couple of hours jerry-rigging the crumbling wood back into place, I realized this experience was a convenient if not appropriate metaphor for the challenge marketers face in dealing with social media within their organizations. Like a dog with a bone, consumers are thrilled with the tumbling divide between themselves and the brands they choose to engage with. Unfortunately, big companies do not necessarily share this enthusiasm, treating social media as yet another channel to be managed by an existing department like marketing or corporate communications and, in doing so, limiting the opportunity for a truly new approach.

You Give PR A Bad Name

Sep 14, 2010

Another column, another ethics dilemma. It seems the issue of ethical behavior can't stay out of the limelight right now. While the Democrats are grappling with the newly created Office of Congressional Ethics and two of their own representatives under investigation for, ahem, questionable behavior, the Federal Trade Commission is coming down on PR companies that are misleading the public by posting fake reviews on behalf of their clients. My thanks to the FTC for giving this rather silent, but ugly, issue the attention it deserves.

Marketers' Constitution Tenet #4

Aug 31, 2010

The fourth tenet of the Marketers' Constitution states, "Marketing must become more integrated and proficient in managing expanding media platforms." Marketing must flawlessly weave aligned brand messages across multiple media and marketing channels -- including general advertising, digital, PR, direct marketing, event marketing, social networking, and other emerging disciplines. Including both online and offline functions, this holistic approach to marketing communication guarantees a consistent and straightforward message and a corresponding use of media.

How Social Media Is Helping Public-Relations Sector Not Just Survive, but Thrive

Michael Bush
Aug 23, 2010

In 2009 Katie O'Brien was looking for an agency partner to help her launch a major digital effort. The global digital marketing manager at Ben & Jerry's issued a brief to a traditional digital shop and a traditional PR agency, Edelman. The plans they brought back were, in Ms. O'Brien's own words, "night and day." The biggest difference, she said, was that one understood social media better than the other -- and it wasn't the digital agency.

JetBlue Puts Head In Sand Re: Incident

Aug 11, 2010

Fed-up JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater's 15 minutes of fame are ticking down, but the repercussions for the airline, which is largely trying to ignore the incident, are just beginning to play out. The New York-based airline suspended the longtime employee Tuesday "pending an investigation" after accusations that he cursed out a passenger over a plane's loudspeakers, took beer from the galley and exited via an emergency slide. Slater's court-appointed lawyer said the passenger provoked him. Slater, 38, was arraigned on charges of criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and trespassing and bail was set at $2,500.

Talking about Listening

Matt Shaw
Aug 5, 2010

We’ve heard a lot about listening over the past several years as marketers have sought to make the most of the social web. But are we really listening? Former President Calvin Coolidge once remarked that, “No one ever listened themselves out of a job.” Customer feedback today is easier than ever to come by, and experts and observers have encouraged companies to engage in a real dialogue with customers instead of just talking customers’ ears off. As Umair Haque of the Havas Media Lab wrote back in 2008, “listening beats talking.” Companies claimed to have gotten the message, unveiling elaborate listening programs, such as Starbucks’ mystarbucksidea website. More recently, the Wall Street Journal has taken note that business “are listening” to customer reviews and other feedback on sites like Yelp, City Search, and Urban Spoon.

Media Isn't Social

David Armano
Aug 4, 2010

You see, businesses, brands and organizations are truly struggling with the disruptive nature of social technologies. In fact, the term "social technologies" is part of the problem—we are all fixated on the technologies and meanwhile the real action lies in harnessing the change brought about by human behavior enabled by technology. I used the simple story of how a colleague shared a book with me. The book itself (media) is not social—the interactions, communications, stories and conversations that involve the book are.

Darryl Willis, Reluctant Star of BP's Latest Commercials, Talks to Ad Age

Edmund Lee
Jun 25, 2010

You've seen him in those commercials for BP. An unassuming man wearing an orange polo and wire-frame glasses approaches the camera as he walks along a generic dock and says, "I'm Darryl Willis. I oversee BP's claims process on the Gulf Coast. BP has got to make things right, and that's why we're here." Mr. Willis has been setting up and overseeing BP's claims offices in the affected Gulf Coast states -- a juxtaposition that some commentors on black-focused blogs said has undertones of racial perfidy. Nonetheless, Mr. Willis, a married father of two children, has become the most visible face of BP. Ad Age spoke to Mr. Willis via phone as he was en route from Florida to New Orleans.

After BP Cleans Up the Oil, It Has to Clean Up Its Image

Jun 14, 2010

BP's name now is inextricably linked with the worst man-made environmental disaster in U.S. history. No amount of public relations razzle-dazzle can change that reality. And while oil still is pouring into the Gulf of Mexico, almost any step that even seems like PR has a risk of backfiring.

McDonald's Recall Of 'Shrek' Glasses Raises Disturbing Questions

Jun 11, 2010

How did paint containing the toxic metal cadmium get in about 12 million drinking glasses sold by the fast-food chain? Nobody seems to know or is willing to say publicly. It's bad enough that about 12 million potentially toxic "Shrek" drinking glasses were recalled by McDonald's last week. But what should really get people's alarm bells ringing is the fact that nobody seems to know, or is willing to say publicly, how the carcinogenic metal cadmium got into paint used to depict Shrek, Donkey and other characters.

BP Demands Twitter Gadfly More Clearly Label Itself As Parody

Jun 9, 2010

BP hasn't asked Twitter to shut down @PBGlobalPR, but it appears to have asked that the site comply with Twitter's terms of service, and more clearly label the feed as parody. Last night the bio of @BPGlobalPR was changed to: "We are not associated with Beyond Petroleum, the company that has been destroying the Gulf of Mexico for 50 days."

When Star Power Finds the Rough

Paul J Davies
Apr 8, 2010

As Tiger Woods prepares to tee off at The Masters on Thursday, the humbled athlete is not the only one counting the cost of his fall from grace. The 34-year-old golfer’s reputation as a clean-living and dedicated sportsman and husband was undone when his infidelities were spilled across television, newspapers and internet sites in the wake of a mysterious car accident at his home in late November. Mr Woods’ success on the course had enabled him to line up lucrative sponsorship deals off of it, with brands including Accenture, Nike, Gillette, Electronic Arts and Gatorade signing him up to lucrative sponsorship deals. Some estimates suggest that the arrangements made him the world’s first sports star to make $1bn in career earnings.

How Toyota Helped Digg Itself Out of Trouble

Apr 7, 2010

In late January, Toyota watched the hundreds of stories about its recall situation flow through Digg and saw the passionate comments and conversations triggered by those stories. Toyota was already an advertiser on the user-voted news aggregator, but execs at the company concluded that ads weren’t going to be enough. In a fast-changing crisis, the carmaker needed a PR platform where it could listen and interact with consumers.

How the Social Media Really Gets Made at Agencies

Mar 30, 2010

Advertising, PR, and marketing agencies are rapidly waking up to the fact that they can no longer be competitive without including social and emerging media in the work they propose to clients. But in many, if not most, agencies, social media is suffering from Slide 29 Syndrome. That's when an account exec calls the digital gurus and says something like this: "For the past few weeks, we've been working on an RFP that we need to send to the client tomorrow. Please add some social media recommendations to the deck and get it us by COB today." They say that because they think social media is Twitter and Facebook and that you pretty much just need to throw up a page so you can broadcast your press releases and announcements.

Putting the Public Back in PR Measurement

Feb 21, 2010

You get that coveted interview in the Wall Street Journal or your company is covered by AP and the news goes mainstream and you jump for joy. While that's great news, counting the potential eyeballs that glanced at that story is no longer enough. It is specifically not good enough in a digital era where every action can be tracked.

Where Do Stories Come From?

Feb 15, 2010

A national survey, conducted by Cision and Don Bates of The George Washington University, found that an overwhelming majority of reporters and editors now depend on social media sources when researching their stories. Among the journalists surveyed, 89% said they turn to blogs for story research, 65% to social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and 52% to microblogging services such as Twitter. The survey also found that 61% use Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia.

Secret to Breaking the 2-Year Curse: It's the Sales, Stupid

Mark Chmiel
Feb 15, 2010

We all know the statistic and scratch our heads: The average tenure of a CMO is around two years or less. Why? Usually it takes that long to fully understand the intricacies and true insights of most industries, companies and brands. Repeating an action over and over again anticipating a different outcome is a humorous definition of insanity. So are CEOs and boards insane?

Where Has All The Trust Gone?

Feb 12, 2010

Americans, we the people, have become a distrustful lot of late, hardly surprising news given our Recessionary new world order that is rammed home daily in headlines detailing the failures, cover-ups, and worse, of corporate America and its leaders. Enter the 10th annual Edelman Trust Barometer 2010, not co-incidentally published (Jan. 26) during Davos, which found that, "Trust is now an essential line of business to be developed and delivered. Trust in business has improved, but the patient has a long road to go for a full recovery," according to Richard Edelman, president and CEO, Edelman Public Relations. "The increase in trust in business belies its fragility."

Toyota, What's So Hard About Doing the Right Thing?

Feb 11, 2010

Successfully responding to a corporate crisis -- like, say, having to recall millions of vehicles because they accelerate out of control or have trouble stopping -- isn't that complicated. The experts say you need to tell customers everything you know as soon as you know it, and you should never ever give the appearance that you're spinning the story or, worse, covering up bad news. "You can't hide," said Bob Grupp, president of the Institute for Public Relations, an industry-funded think tank. "These are uncomfortable situations to be in. But in today's 24/7 society, you have to step up and acknowledge your reality very quickly." So why don't more companies do it?

Who Can Nonprofits Turn To For Help?

Jan 27, 2010

For nonprofits, fundraising -- on any scale -- is an operational imperative. Without supporting funds, there is no organization, period. And while mobile giving is being crowned as a charity's newest savior, it's a rather useless one if the organization doesn't have a proper structure. And by proper structure, I mean a having robust and sensible PR and marketing strategy -- of which mobile is a part. Simply having a mission and a vision to "do good" is all well and good, but it falls flat when no one knows about a nonprofit's work. In today's climate, a nonprofit has to market itself like a business, yet most don't.

Apple Fuels Buzz Over Tablet Computer

Joseph Menn
Jan 19, 2010

Apple on Monday ratcheted up the public relations buzz surrounding the launch of a new product, widely expected to be a tablet-sized computer, this month. It sent out a press invitation via email, inviting journalists to “come see our latest creation”. Whilst far from explicit, as is Apple’s wont, the invitation was the strongest confirmation yet of what has been the company’s most anticipated new product since the launch of the iPhone three years ago.

Apple's News Strategy: Steal Google And CES Thunder

Jan 5, 2010

Apple just announced that its App Store has blown past three billion app downloads, which is impressive. But the timing is curious, as are the swirling rumors about the upcoming Apple Tablet. Is Apple trying to out-PR CES and Google?

Will Traditional, Social Media Blend?

Dec 31, 2009

As a veteran PR counselor specializing in the creative marketing services space, I avidly track the evolution of media channels, especially the growing challenge that "social media" poses to "traditional media" for marketplace dominance. When working to develop leadership positions for emerging companies, an understanding of which media will most profoundly impact one's reputation and positively influence prospective clients is key. So a radical shift in the media landscape poses new challenges to practitioners as they develop media relations campaigns designed to elevate clients to industry spokes-company status.

Attention C-Suite: The Times They Are A-Changin’

Dec 29, 2009

The C-Suite needs to hear some words from Bob Dylan: Come gather ’round people Wherever you roam And admit that the waters Around you have grown And accept it that soon You’ll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you Is worth savin’ Then you better start swimmin’ Or you’ll sink like a stone For the times they are a-changin’.

Chief Reputation Officer: Whose Job Is It, Anyway?

Dec 28, 2009

In the 20th century, PR and marketing were separate but unequal career paths, and CMO was the highest-ranking and most-respected title to which one in those jobs could aspire. The standard career paths in these areas were relatively linear: As a lead communicator, you went to j-school, did a turn in journalism or an agency and then apprenticed under a "gray hair" boss until he retired. This is compared with the typical path of a chief marketing officer, who got his or her M.B.A. in marketing, hired agencies that made him or her look good, learned how to manage big budgets and award-winning creative and then got in the running for the corner office. Today that is changing because of the increasing importance of reputation management.

Marketing in 2010: It’s All About the Data

Josh Jones-Dilworth
Dec 24, 2009

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” – Mark Twain Remember that quote. In 2010 the very best marketers, PR professionals, and social media consultants will put data at the center of everything they do. For anyone unfamiliar with these concepts, just as with social media, data marketing may seem opaque or intimidating at the beginning. The only way you ever learn is by jumping in headfirst — become a data nerd, because data nerds are changing the world.

The Future of the Embargo

Nov 4, 2009

In media and blogger relations, PR typically wields two powerful tools to help boost the effectiveness of pitching and potential placement of news: the embargo and the exclusive. In the case of an exclusive, a story is usually packaged prior to official release for one particular writer, fully understanding their style, nuances, and audience. If the story is accepted, it is not pitched to any other media outlets until after the story runs. The benefit for PR is that it can bank on the publishing of a guaranteed, high profile story. The advantage for the reporter is that they maintain a position of authority on that particular event. The con for PR, is that usually, other media properties will forgo participating in the round of coverage because it quickly become old news.

What TV Shows Are Really Selling

Oct 30, 2009

After a U.S. senator was shot on Fox's drama "24" this year, another character blurted out the make and model of the assassin's submachine gun. The German brand had been prominent in so many episodes of "24" that gun-enthusiast bloggers, among others, speculated whether the company was paying to advertise on the show.

Pepsi's Apology for Amp IPhone App Heightens Furor

Oct 14, 2009

PepsiCo has inserted itself and several of its brands into a heated debate surrounding an iPhone app launched by its Amp Energy brand. By introducing a Twitter tag #pepsifail, the company has spread the news further and associated its flagship brand with the sexist app. So is it a savvy, transparent social-media move or is it simply exacerbating the damage already done?

HOW TO: Use Social Media in Your PR Pitch Plan

Oct 12, 2009

It’s clear that the public relations landscape is changing. No longer does emailing a journalist a press release always result in coverage on major news channels (there are exceptions, naturally, but the average business doesn’t get on Oprah). These days, journalists (and yes, bloggers too) are inundated with press releases. It’s easy to hit delete and move on. How do you get your pitch heard above the din? Conversation. Engagement. Interaction.

PR is Not Dead

Oct 12, 2009

True public relations is a fundamental and helpful part of the communications mix. The issue I have with the question is that it usually comes from the marketing side - those people who have been pushing messaging at us in the first place. Raise your hand if you did PR the spammy way; in that case you need to reinvent yourself and your relevance to the business community. For the rest of us - we are and have been on the value side of the conversations for a long time.

Marketing on $700 a Year

Oct 10, 2009

Last month, Intuit, the personal finance software firm that owns Quicken, paid $170 million in cash for Mint.com, a two-year-old personal finance site with 1.6 million users. That corporate embrace comes after much frustration on Intuit’s part. At one point the company wrote Mint a letter demanding “substantiation and evidence” of the rival site’s rapid-fire growth. Compounding the vexation was the cost of acquisition for those consumers, whose numbers are currently growing by more than 130,000 each month: virtually nothing. Donna Wells, Mint’s CMO and a former exec at Intuit, is a veteran marketer used to the big media budgets she had in previous jobs at Charles Schwab and American Express. At Mint, however, she may well represent a new breed of CMO who is spending very little on brand building and bypassing advertising in the process. Thanks to new social media and communications technologies, partnered with adept PR strategies, Wells showed that building a so-called Web 2.5 brand doesn’t need to cost much these days—and the experience is liberating.

Companies Must Plan Holistically For Social –Beyond Marketing

Jeremiah Owyang
Oct 1, 2009

Having just returned from vacation, (hence the break from blogging) I had the distinct pleasure of keynoting Silicon Valley AMA last night at Cisco’s Telepresence suites in Santa Clara. In my opening keynote, I had a specific message to marketing leaders in the valley to think holistic about social. I outlined some of the major impacts to other departments beyond marketing.

Storytelling Is An Art

Sep 30, 2009

If a picture paints a thousand words, then how much is a tweet worth? Ten words, a dozen? When embracing Twitter, have you struggled to write something profound or worthwhile within the confines of 140 characters? I have. Don't get me wrong, "tweet speak" has its place in our digital world, but with every process that strips away the need to construct coherent and meaningful prose, not just blurts with links, we will, in turn, think less about what and how we write. It's already happening. When talking about the art of communicating and storytelling, whether it's oral, aural, visual or in words (stay with me here, I am trying to correlate this with PR), the creative process is often lost during the template-driven process of writing a press release.

Blogger Relations is a Two-Way Street

Sep 29, 2009

As bloggers, we’ve all experienced it: the completely off topic pitch. After pouring blood, sweat, and tears into our blog that clearly is known for addressing a specific subject matter, we get an email from a public relations agency that takes us for someone completely different. Where do they come off doing that? A few months ago, Brian talked about an off-topic pitch about a social network for plants. (Somehow, I think nature lovers would be more interested in socializing shrubbery.) I’m sure you can relate. With some of these pitches, I scratch my head. With others who address me as Jennifer or Dakash, I wonder if these individuals representing both small and large companies really realize that their lack of research reflects poorly on their clients.

100 PR People Worth Following on Twitter

Sep 27, 2009

When I speak at events and the topic of Twitter comes up, people often ask me how to build their streams with interesting peers to follow. I build mine starting from all the bloggers I knew first, then looked at the profiles of those they replied to (@reply), then added those who participated in planned chats and conversations.

Reinventing a Category With Sky-High Brand Buzz

Sep 21, 2009

How do you compete as an upstart in the cutthroat domestic airline industry when your marketing budget is a fraction of your rivals'? For Porter Gale, VP-marketing at domestic value carrier Virgin America, you make every dollar stretch and use social media and buzz to amplify every marketing event, all the while trying to show that Virgin is the antidote to marginal domestic air travel. In some respects Ms. Gale is a fitting candidate to run a lean, startup airline. With a master's degree in documentary film from Stanford University, she's a filmmaker who has had to figure out how to produce high-quality content on shoestring budgets.

Social Responsibility Is Dead

Sep 18, 2009

Corporate social responsibility is a hybrid PR/branding program that attempts to convert compliance into goodwill. Often CSR lives outside the marketing function, somewhere deep in the bowels of legal or operations. Once a year, the company's varied social achievements are collected by the investor relations department for the now-compulsory CSR addendum to the annual report. CSR attempts to align corporate needs (profits, revenue, growth) with social needs (people, community, planet). Themes such as "we're being less bad" or "we're trying to give back" dominate the subtext and water down the potential marketing value of the exercise. In the end, CSR is a compulsory exercise designed to limit liability, boost morale and add to the branding story of the company. From 2003 to 2008, CSR grew along with other nice-to-haves such as corporate meetings, green buildings and skunkworks programs. When the recession slammed the economy last fall, only the profit center programs survived. As a movement, CSR is either dead or on life support.

Stinking It Up: Lessons From a PR Failure

Sep 18, 2009

I've been thinking a lot about poop lately, and not just because I have two young kids. In particular, I've been pondering that clichéd philosophical question: If a bear poops in the woods and nobody's around, does it still stink? Recently, DoSomething.org hosted what I'd normally consider a successful party. The event raised half a million dollars. We honored five amazing youths for doing amazing things, from building an orphanage in Nepal to registering thousands of new voters. Our red carpet at Harlem's Apollo Theater was packed with celebs, and performers including Boys Like Girls and Akon -- who crowdsurfed -- rocked the place. The 1,600 people there were floored. But did anybody else smell what we were cooking? Nope.

Think You Know PR? Think Again

Sep 16, 2009

The axiom that "the more things change, the more they remain the same" still holds truth. Today, like yesterday, visibility and credibility go a long way in forging meaningful relationships with customers, employees and media to produce real outcomes. The question is, what's so different about the way we're creating those relationships? Earned media has never been more valuable; it's impossible to buy, after all. And while paid media's supporting role is very strong, companies are continuously looking for new ways to distribute authentic messages and engage others in what they do; corporate schtick has no place in that equation.

Google Bigotry

Jeff Jarvis
Sep 7, 2009

Google has an image problem – not a PR problem (that is, not with the public) but a press problem (with whining old media people). Google is trying hard – too hard, perhaps – not to argue with the guys who still buy ink by the barrel. Google is only causing them to buy fewer barrels. And newspaper people will use their last drops of ink to complain about Google’s success and try to blame it for their own failures rather than changing their own businesses. What should Google do? I think it needs to become news’ best friend.

Social Media Is Infrastructure: PR, Marketing, Ads Safe

Louis Gray
Sep 2, 2009

Practically the only thing guaranteed that social media will kill is your free time. Maybe it will kill your real-world social life too, but that's only if you choose to have an intimate relationship with your computer, at the pure neglect of the world outdoors. While it's popular and tempting to say that social media is poised to eliminate core business elements, such as marketing, public relations, or advertising, the truth is that the latest Web tools are simply infrastructure, to be used well. More traditional departments in business, and the third party vendors who provide their services, will need to adapt to a changing world, but they aren't going anywhere.

A New Mindset is Needed

Katie Delahaye Paine
Sep 1, 2009

A new mindset is needed. There’s been a great deal of discussion of late both here and in other forums about the blurring lines between advertising and editorial and the implications for both relationship building and sales. As a measurement geek (or queen, which ever you prefer) my response is generally – who cares what you call it, focus on the results. Is what you're doing selling stuff, saving money, or making you more efficient? Great, do more of it, and less of the stuff that isn’t generating revenue.

Did Best Buy Do Itself a PR Favor With Pricing Error?

Aug 14, 2009

Health-care reform? A Taliban cease-fire? Dick Cheney unloading on George Bush? The hottest story on the web today was none of the above. Burning up the blogosphere and Twitter was the remarkable "pricing error" that occurred on the website for electronics retailer Best Buy, which -- for a little while, anyway -- had a 52-inch Samsung high-definition TV listed for $9.99.

If This Headline Doesn’t Catch Your Attention, I Failed

Aug 13, 2009

Content may be king, but it won’t ever get the royal treatment outside the confines of your company’s website unless its dressed for success with a killer headline and description to match. A lot of interest can be generated with great content and some proper positioning. Positioning, in this case means solid headlines and descriptions to accompany the content at a variety of access points across the web.

PR and Advertising are at a Crossroads

Aug 10, 2009

Advertising and public relations stand at a crossroads -- at once battered by recession-driven corporate downsizing and confronted with a bevy of new and often untested online platforms. Amid the uncertainty, firms have battled back with disparate strategies: eschewing general advertising to reach smaller target audiences; rushing to integrate the once separate fiefdoms of PR and advertising; and seeking to capitalize on the disintegration of multinational firms by buying up local branch offices.

Are You Talking to Me?

Aug 6, 2009

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time touring the world in support of my ideas and thoughts on the direction of new PR, branding, service, and marketing communications. My reward and inspiration to continue is sourced from each person I meet and the experiences and challenges they share. I’ve learned that our greatest hindrance to evolve is not our unwillingness to do so, our indoctrination in new media and communications is truly obstructed by the executives to whom we report and serve.

Stop Saying Sorry, Start Getting Really Social

Aug 4, 2009

With the recent spate of companies such as United Airways, Domino’s Pizza and Habitat UK, being hit by negative publicity online, one could be forgiven for thinking that social media can be used as a cure-all for such issues. But in fact, social media will only ever be a band-aid for such problems, unless it’s tied into fundamental changes in the way such companies operate.

10 Words I Would Love To See Banned From Press Releases

Robin Wauters
Aug 2, 2009

Ever since I’ve started blogging about technology a couple of years ago, I’ve been consistently growing an immense feeling of hate towards press releases, and it’s not getting any better. It’s not that I dislike the PR industry in general, although I often wonder how so many of these firms continue to be in business when the large majority of them have been doing it exactly the same way for the past few decades, instead of evolving.

A Tale of PR And Social Media

Jul 29, 2009

Once upon a time, there was a talented young girl in PR called Vanessa. Vanessa rocked PR: she wrote like a pro, could spin fabulous yarns and had relationships with masses of journalists and media outlets around the land. And then something scary happened... A big, bad monster called Social Media came to town.

The Influencer’s Dilemma: The Battle For Mindshare Amid Media Turmoil

Louis Gray
Jul 29, 2009

Successful businesses are always making choices and sacrifices, strategically looking as to how they are going to prioritize their resources, including human capital, budgets, and, of course, time. As the world around them adapts, so too do they need to make changes internally to respond, or to predict where trends are going – and if they guess right, the business could catapult ahead of less-agile competition.

Will Google Wave Eliminate the Need for PR as Media Relations?

Jul 13, 2009

New media has already reminded up that PR stands for public relations and not just media relations. This is still something that many organizations are navigating at the moment. Now Google is giving us yet another Wave of innovation and showing us what is possible in the browser.

PR Does Not Stand for Press Release: Equalizing Spikes and Valleys

Brian Solis
Jul 6, 2009

Every now and again, a PR meme appears on the Web – almost to the point where you could set your watch by it. This time around, Claire Cain Miller of the New York Times sparked the conversation with an in-depth article, “Spinning the Web: P.R. in Silicon Valley.” I respect Claire and I believe she wrote an extensive article that chronicles the launch of one particular startup and also featured supporting quotes from those PR professionals who are helping to usher in a new breed of corporate communications. While an exposé makes for an interesting read, PR is undergoing a much more significant renaissance that receives almost zero attention in this article. P.R. in Silicon Valley is far more sophisticated and effective than what’s actually spotlighted in the story and it’s much more potent than most entrepreneurs, investors, and executives realize.

It's My PR Story (And I'm Stickin' To It)

Jul 1, 2009

A pinch and a punch for the first of the month and then an introduction. Some of you will recall reading a short piece from me last month called "Journalism Rocks," making a case for why journalistic content should not always be free. Today, I'm back again and will be every other week, with a column that examines all things PR. Yep, public relations -- also known as image management, spin, publicity, and hype.

Edelman's Mom-Blog Maven: We Don't Do Paid-For Posts

Jun 25, 2009

As Edelman Chicago's senior VP for consumer brands social media, Danielle Wiley's job is to establish and manage 2.0 digital practices and strategies for the agency. The mother of two came to Edelman's attention as a result of the Foodmomiac blog she launched in 2005. She now heads an in-house team of four that spends much of its time researching, recruiting and managing bloggers for various brands' marketing campaigns.

PR Must Lead Way To Promised Land

Jun 25, 2009

As early as 2006, the phrase "Every company is a media company" began to appear in speeches, news stories and blog columns, presaging a paradigm shift in the way businesses of every stripe must communicate with their audiences in the Internet/social media age.

Time to Close the Gap Between PR and Advertising

Jun 19, 2009

Integration among industries is nothing new. Throughout time, industries with similar formats, products or product-delivery systems have grown by bringing their offerings together. For instance, once-separate grocery stores and pharmacies are now commonly housed together in one supermarket, and corner drugstores are selling a wider selection of convenient grocery items. The local cable company has evolved into an internet service provider that can also hook you up with a phone package, and the phone company is offering internet and TV services, too. More recently, Facebook has incorporated Twitter-like status updates into its news feed.

One Medium PR People Should Buy: Search

Jun 19, 2009

A key distinction between PR and advertising has always been that public relations is earned media rather than paid. But now, just as search engines have revolutionized the way consumers access information, search marketing is evolving public relations.

Tufte's Invisible Yet Ubiquitous Influence

Adam Aston
Jun 11, 2009

Edward Tufte combines a policy wonk's love of data with an artist's eye for beauty and a PR maestro's knack for promotion.

The State of PR, Marketing, and Communications: You are the Future

Brian Solis
Jun 8, 2009

Modern Public Relations was born in the early 1900s, although history traces the its roots and origins of practice back to the 17th century. Two years ago, the press release celebrated its 100-year anniversary. While the communications industry has iterated with every new technological advancement over the last century, including broadcast mediums and Web 1.0, none however, have forced complete transparency prior to the proliferation of the Read/Write Web aka The Social Web aka Web 2.0.

Will Pfizer's Free Drug Program Give PR Lift to Big Pharma?

May 15, 2009

In a PR masterstroke for the world's largest drug maker, Pfizer today said it will provide free select prescription drugs to Americans and their families who lose their jobs and -- as a result -- their health insurance.

Is the President's PR Barrage Working?

Mar 23, 2009

Have you seen or heard President Barack Obama pitching his stimulus plan lately? If you say no, you are clearly either lying or actually living under a rock.

AIG Misses Chance to Prove Value of Honest Communication

Mar 22, 2009

Yes, PR is often about intentional deceit, but when done right even scorned companies can get a fair shake

Banks Went Mum as Confidence Dropped: PR Survey

Mar 20, 2009

Only 8% of American consumers have full confidence in banks and other financial service companies, according to an alarming new study from independent PR shop Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and RT Strategies.

No Easy PR Fix for AIG's Bonus Blowback

Mar 18, 2009

You can pretty much bet on this: If consumers are looking for insurance these days, they're not going to AIG.

Why Charging a Digital or PR Agency With Social Media Is a Flawed Strategy

Joseph Jaffe
Mar 16, 2009

My latest Adweek column is up and it's already getting its fair share of comments - with some particularly negative ones leveled at me. The piece is about where I think "social" media really fits and why - based on this assessment - I think it's a flawed strategy to charge a digital or PR agency with the AOR responsibilities associated with this imperative.

The Difference Between PR And Publicity

Mar 10, 2009

Most PR firms do publicity, not PR. Publicity is the act of getting ink. Publicity is getting unpaid media to pay attention, write you up, point to you, run a picture, make a commotion. Sometimes publicity is helpful, and good publicity is always good for your ego. But it's not PR.

Amid PR Follies, Facebook Attempts To Humanize

Feb 20, 2009

Facebook has a lot of communication problems. Most recently, changes made to its terms of service sent a ripple through the internet community, leaving users feeling like they had unwillingly ceded ownership of their data to the site. Facebook backtracked almost immediately, but the damage has been done. And as PR glitches continue to arise, the company runs the risk of being viewed as a faceless (ironic, huh?) and untrustworthy entity.

Georgia Takes Up P.R. Fight On Behalf Of Peanut

Feb 18, 2009

Georgia lawmakers are trying to revive the peanut’s good name. The lunch box staple didn’t used to be such a tough sell, but Georgia’s vital crop has taken a whipping since a nationwide salmonella outbreak tied to peanut products from a Blakely, Ga., plant, has sickened more than 600 people and been linked to nine deaths.

Peanut Butter's Bad Reputation

Jonathan Salem Baskin
Feb 10, 2009

The peanut butter recall is expanding, and now includes some Clif bars, General Mills products, Kellogg cookies, Keebler crackers, and a swath of private label products. Little Debbie voluntarily recalled its peanut butter crackers, just in case. A bunch of brand names have vociferously declared that their products are "safe," have no connection to the culprit factory, or simply haven't been named in the recall. Are you reassured?

Companies Use Twitter to Pack PR Punch

Dec 31, 2008

Twitter, a booming micro-blogging service, is inspiring business to manage its message in 140 characters or less. Its streams of short text messages, publicly broadcast over the web, are being treated as the new frontline of internet conversation.

Ford Picks Up PR Points for Declining Auto Bailout

Dec 22, 2008

n declining any of the $17.4 billion the government is giving Detroit, Ford Motor Co. instantly earned the admiration and appreciation of a frustrated and cash-strapped U.S. consumer base that, once this recession ends, eventually will make its way back into auto showrooms.

Detroit's Big Bungle in D.C. and the PR Lessons Learned

Dec 8, 2008

After Congress told Detroit's Big Three CEOs to get back on their private jets and come back with a detailed plan the next time they came asking for a $25 billion loan, it was abundantly clear that GM, Ford and Chrysler had all terribly missed the mark from a PR and communications perspective.


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