The Newsworthy Rise of Late Night Comedy

By Alex Altman More Americans are turning to an unlikely source for news: late night comedy. During the 2016 presidential election, more people got their news from late night comedy than print versions of national newspapers, according to journalism.org. Among 18-29 year olds, late night comedy was more informative than network nightly news. IT ALL STARTED With distrust in the mainstream media at an all-time high, the Cronkites, Sawyers and Brokaws of the world are being replaced by the Colberts, Olivers and Bees in the pantheon of trusted news orators. It’s a trend that started in 1999 when Jon Stewart […]

PR For Small Business

By Brian Murnahan (This article originally appeared in the July edition of FW Inc. Magazine) Utilizing public relations in business is often seen as a big business luxury, but in reality, even smaller businesses can use basic tools for successful PR campaigns. PR is defined around key pillars that encompass audience, message, relationship and strategy. Businesses that put a communications strategy in place based on these pillars can find it to be extremely effective. Step one involves taking the time to research and define key characteristics of your intended audience and what value points matter to that group. Use research drawn […]

NBC Stands Up to Pressure by Airing Jones Interview  

By Alex Altman, contributing writer Alex Jones. The name alone evokes strong feelings on both ends of the political spectrum. Supporters say he’s a beacon of truth in an era of political correctness. Denouncers say he’s a dangerous conspiracy theorist. No matter how you feel about Jones personally, there’s no denying his considerable influence. As host of the Internet radio show InfoWars, Jones’ conspiracy theories have earned him a robust following. His millions of fans include President Donald Trump, who’s praised Jones and even asked him for advice since taking office. New NBC journalist Megyn Kelly thought Jones’ political clout […]

How LaVar Ball Built a Billion Dollar Brand with Brashness

By Alex Altman A few days from now, Lonzo Ball will be a top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. He’ll almost assuredly be taken by the Los Angeles Lakers, his hometown team, where the former UCLA point guard will instantly become the face of the NBA’s most iconic franchise. But he still won’t score as many headlines as his father. If you haven’t heard of LaVar Ball, it’s not for his lack of trying. For the last several months, the patriarch of the Ball basketball dynasty has seared his way into the public consciousness with a string of comments […]

How to Get Customers to Review Your Business Online

By Alex Altman, contributing writer Online customer reviews influence an astounding 93 percent of all purchase decisions, according to Podium. And yet, many small businesses don’t actively solicit reviews. This not only costs them revenue but also chokes their access to new customers. Many consumers are suspicious of companies they’ve never done business with before. This is especially true of Millennials, who won’t make any decision without first consulting with the masses. Reviews help alleviate this sense of distrust. In fact, 74 percent of consumers say positive reviews make them trust local businesses more, according to BrightLocal. Positive reviews give […]

How Sorry Apologies Doomed Pepsi and United Airlines

  By Alex Altman, contributing writer More than a month later, the bruises still shine bright. No matter what they do, Pepsi and United Airlines can’t outrun the ignominy of their recent PR blunders. In an age where attention spans are as limited as airplane legroom, that’s really saying something. At this point, pretty much every aspect of these mistakes has been unpacked. And what’s interesting is that while both situations transpired in completely different ways, they’re bound by common themes: including weak apologies that only made matters worse. When you make a mistake, an immediate, thoughtful and thorough apology […]

6 Solutions for Combating Fake News

By Alex Altman Six months after the election, fake news continues to be a real threat. Not just to the political system, but to businesses and the PR professionals charged with safeguarding their fragile public images. If last year’s campaign season taught us anything, it’s that people will believe anything that supports their personal agendas. That’s how fibs like Pizzagate, a wild conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton and a human trafficking ring, spread like wildfire and become part of the national conversation. While most will read a story like Pizzagate and ponder the political implications, there’s another victim here: the […]

5 Companies Winning in PR and the Reasons Why

By Alex Altman From polls to social media, there are many ways to measure a brand’s public image. But trying to figure out what drove that perception in the first place is a different story. Several factors lead consumers to form the belief that Brand A is good and Brand B is bad. But study the most reputable companies in the world and you’ll find there are more commonalities than you think. Here are five brands with favorable public images, and the reasons they appeal to consumers. Rolex There’s a reason Rolex is the most respected company in the world. […]

Tips for Working with Social Influencers

By Alex Altman The relationship between brands and celebrities goes back decades. Watch TV for an hour today and it’s a virtual certainty that you’ll see Jennifer Garner hawking credit cards, Chris Paul peddling insurance, or some other famous person selling you something you don’t need. In 2017 though, you don’t need to star in sport or cinema to get paid like a celebrity for endorsing a product. All you need is a large social presence. People who wield their social clout to promote brand messages on their own accounts are known as social influencers, and they’re part of a […]

Travis Kalanick’s Uber PR Problem

By Alex Altman It’s been a bumpy ride for Uber so far in 2017. In January, the company was excoriated for not disavowing President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration order — a decision that spurred 200,000 customers to delete the app. But in some ways, what happened a month later was even more damaging to Uber’s reputation. On February 27, dash cam footage showed CEO arguing with Uber driver Fawzi Kamel over prices. In the video, Kamel complains that the company’s oft-changing policies had caused him to go bankrupt. “I lost $97,000 because of you,” he told Kalanick. “I’m bankrupt because […]