How Ambien Avoided a PR Nightmare

By Alex Altman Roseanne Barr was in hot water. She had just fired off a regrettable tweet about Valerie Jarrett, a former advisor to President Barack Obama. Her show had been cancelled. She was being vilified as a racist. And she needed someone to blame. Enter Ambien. “It was 2 in the morning, and I was ambien tweeting,” read her since deleted tweet. Ambien may have seemed like a natural scapegoat. But the maker of the drug, Sanofi, wasn’t going to let Barr get off easy. A day after its signature sleeping pill was cited, the pharmaceutical company issued a […]

When Brands Should Take Stands

When Brands Should Take Stands Weighing the pros and cons of political and social advocacy By Alex Altman If you support Millennial causes, Millennials will support you. At least, that’s what the numbers say. According to a study by Cone Communications, 87% of consumers will patronize a company because it advocated for an issue they care about. Another study revealed that around two-thirds of all consumers want brands to take a stand on issues. So, it’s simple then: supporting issues that your customers care about is good for business. Right? Not necessarily. While the numbers suggest that social and political […]

News Interview Tips

6 Tips for Crushing Your Media Interview

By Alex Altman Whether you’re a rookie or a veteran when it comes to giving media interviews, it never hurts to go over some best practices. Here are six tips for giving an interview that positions you and your company in a favorable light, and helps you make the most of your opportunity to get your name out there. Research Reporter: Whether it’s the tone of their articles or the stories they choose to cover, every reporter has certain tendencies. Reading previous articles by the reporter will shed light on the type of interview — and maybe even the type […]

12 Months Later: Starbucks Learns from United Airlines’ Woes

By Alex Altman Caught in the eye of a PR firestorm, former Starbucks CEO (and still face-of-company) Howard Schultz took a page from the Oscar Munoz book on corporate leadership. And then he did the exact opposite. When cellphone footage last April showed a passenger being violently dragged off a United Airlines flight, Munoz delayed, deflected and even blamed the “disruptive and belligerent” victim for his failure to heed the orders of a flight crew. His regrettable handling of the situation inflamed an already outraged public, provided fresh fodder for the national media and caused irreparable harm to United Airlines’ […]

5 Low-Budget Ways to Boost Customer Relations

By Alex Altman In today’s business climate, recent polls suggest that customer service is one of the best ways to drive loyalty and gain an edge over the competition. 54% of Millennials said they stopped doing business because of poor customer service (Conversion) 66% of US consumers spend more on brands to which they are loyal (Accenture) 74% of consumers would be more likely to engage with brands who provide a higher level of customer loyalty (Wunderman) Customer relations should be a priority for all businesses, but many come up short in this area. This is shameful, considering customer service […]

Real News: The Resurgence of Journalism

By Alex Altman President Donald Trump’s crusade against “Fake News” has been one of the biggest headlines of his time in office. His pointed, personal and persistent attacks on the Mainstream Media have striven to not only discredit reporters, but also to intimidate them. Especially those whose reporting “undermines” his presidency, or at least the public’s perception of it. While polls show Trump has succeeded at the former — a meager 32% of Americans say they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media — his attempts to silence the media have been shockingly futile. So […]

Corporate Madness: 5 Brands Winning the Tournament

By Alex Altman When Little Caesars marketers pitched the idea of giving away free lunch to every customer if a 16-seed defeated a 1-seed during the NCAA Tournament, they surely sold it as a risk-free proposition A 16-seed couldn’t beat a one. Never had it happened. Never could it happen. But when UMBC defeated Virginia in what will surely go down as the greatest upset in college basketball history, the Hot N’ Ready chain still probably felt the like biggest winner of all. Just 24 hours after announcing the promotion on Twitter, Little Caesars had already received more than 15,000 […]

5 Ways to Measure the Success of Your Social Campaign

By Alex Altman With few exceptions, any time a business spends money, it expects to see a return on investment. Unfortunately, proving ROI can be difficult in the public relations industry, which deals less in data points and more in human emotion. While marketers demonstrate ROI through clicks, impressions and conversions, PR professionals have to get a little crafty to show how their social campaign is affecting their client’s bottom line. Luckily, there are several bulletproof ways to validate your efforts. Here are five effective tips to show your clients that their social dollars are well spent. Calls to Action: The […]

Facebook Rolls Out Changes to Combat Negativity

By Alex Altman Four weeks ago, I made a decision that once seemed unfathomable. I logged into Facebook, clicked on the settings and deactivated my account. I first registered for “The Facebook” in 2005, when membership was exclusive to college students. In the decade that followed, Facebook was more than just a site I would frequent — it was a pipeline into my social world. I’d use it for sharing pictures, crowdsourcing, connecting with new friends and other mostly harmless activities. But over the last few years, my Facebook experience changed. My news feed, once flooded with posts from social […]

ANTHONY D’ANGELO’S LETTER TO THE LA TIMES RESPONDING TO VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN’S ARTICLE ON HOPE HICKS…

Most folks that I have run into in my 20 years in public relations are honest and care about the quality of the work that they do. In our work, our reputation is everything, so like the vast majority of my colleagues in the profession, I work to ensure that I alway share accurate information. On those occasions where I have made a mistake, I have called to apologize and correct the misinformation, because that is what good people do. Anthony D’Angelo’s letter to the LA Times Responding to Virginia Heffernan’s article on Hope Hicks…