6 Reasons Your Business Should Start Blogging Now

By Alex Altman From billion-dollar banks to neighborhood HVAC companies, it seems like every business has a blog these days. Unless you’ve taken a crash course in content marketing, you’ve at one point probably asked yourself, Why? Why does this bowling alley need a blog? How much business can it possibly drive? And who’s reading this stuff, anyway?  The truth is, blogs that are managed thoughtfully and dutifully can have an enormous impact on both your bottom line and overall reputation. In fact, businesses that prioritize blogging are 13X more likely to see positive ROI, according to HubSpot. Here are […]

Avoid these 13 Naughty PR Words and Phrases

By Alex Altman There’s a reason PR professionals spend so much time agonizing over statements: every word matters. Whether you’re touting an achievement or issuing an apology, stick your statement by avoiding these 13 words and phrases: Arguably: “This is arguably the greatest blog you’ll ever read.” If your BS detector didn’t go off just now, it’s time to change the battery. Qualifiers usually precede grandiose statements that can’t be substantiated, and therefore come across as desperate attempts to reel in coverage. Solution: The black-tie alternative to business casual words like “products” or “services,” this word works just fine in […]

The Ultimate PR Cheatsheet: 17 Insights to Maximize Your Strategy

  By Alex Altman Public relations is equal parts science and strategy; a delicate balance of knowing what to say and when to say it. Knowing how to marry these two elements is key to optimizing your PR strategy. With that said, here are 17 insights to inspire your next campaign. Media Pitches 1) Pitch via Email: 92% of journalists prefer to receive their media pitches via email. (Sword and Script) 2) Show Your Know: 51% of journalists say they’re most likely to pursue a story because the PR professional displayed knowledge of their past work, interests and strengths. (Sword […]

Paywall Surge a Fresh Challenge for PR Pros

By Alex Altman With ad revenue plummeting and editorial budgets being slashed, digital publishers are turning over every stone looking for new ways to make money. So, it should come as no surprise that many of them are kicking the tires on paywalls. The Washington Post, New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, Wired, Vanity Fair and Financial Times are just a few of the publications that have introduced paywalls in recent years. By restricting access to non-subscribers, these publications are betting that their coverage — combined with reasonable fees and the lure of fewer annoying ads — will spur consumers to […]

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 […]