Last week, I was a guest at #bizforum, a Twitter chat where business professionals discuss the pros and cons of trending business-related topics each week.
Led by Sam Fiorella, the chief marketing sensei at Sensei Marketing, there are a few rules: Debate, debate, and, oh, debate (but do it professionally).
I was invited to be a guest because the topic was a challenge to PR agencies, departments, and professionals. Beforehand Sam told me he believes that with the growth of the “social economy,” PR professionals must step up and take a stronger lead in managing the social relationships for corporations. He believes every department in the organization must have a strategic and tactical plan for social engagement but there is a specific role for PR pros.
Based on yesterday’s Spin Sucks blog post, I thought this was an interesting discussion to continue today.
Following are the questions I was asked, and my answers to each. Continue Reading »
An entrepreneurial attorney with an MBA, Adam Zuckerman is a blogger and people connector inspired by the intersections of business, law, media, technology, and all things outdoors.
You may have noticed that Maker’s Mark has tapped actor, comedian, and television personality Jimmy Fallon to narrate it’s most recent TV commercial, “It isn’t about hype.”
For those unfamiliar, Jimmy is an ex-SNL cast member, now hosts NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, and has had roles several movies such as Almost Famous and Fever Pitch.
Now, I have no problem with Maker’s Mark selecting Jimmy Fallon as a spokesperson. He’s cutting edge, personable, and someone I genuinely imagine throwing back a few Makers Mark cocktails. On the rocks, Manhattan, or even a classic Old Fashioned; it’s all plausible.
Yet, I do take issue with the script. Continue Reading »
Adam Toporek is the owner of IntenseFence Management Solutions and blogs about small business and franchising.
The past decade has seen some great public relations campaigns, particularly in the for-profit realm.
Doritos knocked it out of the park when it “crashed” the Super Bowl, Tourism Queensland put its island on the map when it created The Best Job in the World, and Old Spice reignited its stodgy brand by convincing women that buying their grandfather’s deodorant will give their husbands six-pack abs. (Testimonial from my wife: “Old Spice is full of crap.”)
To me, however, the Domino’s turnaround is the most brilliant PR campaign in recent memory.
In the midst of a recession, in a hyper-competitive and mature industry, Domino’s completely realigned the perception of its product and its brand while generating measurable financial results for its stakeholders. And it did so through an innovative marketing campaign that seamlessly integrated traditional advertising, social media, and public relations. Continue Reading »
Stacey Hood serves as marketing director for Momentum Communications, based in Birmingham, and is a founding board member for Alabama Social Media Association.
Crisis communications, like many other areas in the typical PR practice, have changed dramatically with social media.
Long gone are the days of the simple one-way reactive plan. There are many sources of crisis communications and it’s necessary to think of the variety of sources you, as a PR pro can draw upon to share the messages.
Thanks to social networks such as Twitter, this source can be an audience member, a pro or, in the case of a natural event, even someone completely unexpected, such as a TV meteorologist. Continue Reading »
Andrew Worob is manager of digital communications at Ruder Finn, where he counsels clients of all sizes on how to develop and execute smart, successful programs that truly integrate traditional media with online media efforts.
The client-agency relationship should be a marriage, not a war. Are you a client that is frustrated at how your agency is handling your social media and PR needs? Or, are you are the account lead at an agency and you’re ready to pull your hair out because your client never seems to take your counsel?
You’ve slammed your phone down after a weekly status call. You’ve complained to your superiors that you can’t work with these people anymore. You might have even preferred that the relationship just terminate as opposed to resolving the issues.
Bitching and complaining are not going to solve any issues.
Following are four tips and reminders on how clients and agency teams can work towards a more productive and civil relationship. Continue Reading »
I was riding my bike yesterday, thinking about this whole Lance Armstrong case getting stronger, and it occurred to me that athletes aren’t any different than PR professionals.
A couple of weeks ago, when the Burson Marsteller/Facebook story broke, many, many, many people called me naive. They stated examples where PR professionals create whisper or smear campaigns. The statement, more often than not while calling me naive was, “It happens all the time.”
It happens all the time.
I refuse to believe Lance has remained so staunch in his innocence for so long and he really is guilty. I refuse to believe this man, who is a cycling hero to me, really did use performance-enhancing drugs. When former teammates have come out and said they saw him inject drugs, I refused to believe it.
We all need heroes and Lance is mine. Continue Reading »
Valerie Merahn Simon serves as a senior vice president at BurrellesLuce and is a regular blogger for BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.
The other night, as I read through a certain news release for the fifth time, I began humming a slight variation to an Avril Lavigne song.
Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?
Writing like I know about or care about your jargon
has me frustrated
Brands like this, you
Create stress, make a mess
You confuse and dilute
What you say, please turn it into honesty
Promise me I’ll never gonna hafta translate it
Understand that my plea on behalf of consumers everywhere is not a charitable request. Continue Reading »
“For years, Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, has extolled the virtue of transparency, and he built Facebook accordingly. The social network requires people to use their real identity in large part because Mr. Zuckerberg says he believes that people behave better — and society will be better — if they cannot cloak their words or actions in anonymity,” from the New York Times on May 13, 2011.
Enter Burson Marsteller.
Most of you already know the story. The global PR firm was hired to create a “whisper campaign” about Social Circle, the optional feature of Google search that uses publicly available information from social networks to personalize search results.
The story goes that two very high-profile and former senior reporters turned PR pros worked with media and bloggers to begin digging into Social Circle and writing negative stories about it. When pushed to reveal their client, they refused and a blogger published their email exchange.
It’s been said this is common practice in the Silicon Valley: PR professionals are hired to help create negative stories about one’s competition. But does that make it right? Continue Reading »
It’s Facebook question of the week time. Woo hoo!
Today’s question comes from Jenn Whinnem. Before I tell you her question, let me tell you how you can find her.
She is a communications officer at the Connecticut Health Foundation (which will make sense when you read her question), she is a contributing author at SMB Collective, and she can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Check her out. You’ll see her around here and on other blogs, as well. In fact, I’m pretty sure I first met her on Mark Schaefer’s blog, and then on Jayme Soulati’s, and then on Shonali Burke’s, and pretty soon we were stalking one another.
She’s very active online and I know you’ll like her as much as I do.
She asks: Continue Reading »
This year, at BlogWorld and New Media Expo, Danny Brown and I are speaking!
Yes, together and yes, it’s going to be legen (wait for it) dary!
Initially our blog topic was “Doucheblogs and Spin Doctors,” but some corporate suit was offended by that title so they asked us to change it. I guess he didn’t want to fly across the country to listen to all of the reasons PR pros suck.
Never mind it suits our personalities and it would have, hands down, gotten butts in seats, but we get that so we changed it. I really hope he comes to our session now!
Now it’s “Common Sense and Collaboration: The Last Stumbling Block for PR and Bloggers” (boooooring), but the content remains the same.
It’s no surprise, if you’ve been a reader of Spin Sucks for a while, that I think the way (some) PR pros treat bloggers is ridiculous. And it’s time to educate bloggers on how to work with PR pros in order to achieve some of your blogging goals.
Danny feels the same way because he spends time on his blog talking about ways PR pros and bloggers can work together.
He and I sit on both sides of the fence. We both are communication experts and we both blog. We know what it’s like to do blogger outreach and we know what it’s like to be pitched (it’s really, really bad in most cases). Continue Reading »