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 […]

3 PR Trends That Will Define 2017

By Alex Altman We’re only two months into 2017 and already we’re living in a drastically different PR world than a year ago. The media is under siege. New technologies are transcending the way people consume information. And social media is a volcano primed to erupt the very moment a brand or public figure does or says anything even remotely controversial. A reasonable argument can be made that the need for PR has never been greater. With that in mind, here are a few of the trends that will come to define 2017. Tougher Journalists Since taking office, President Donald […]

War of Words: Trump’s Feud with Press Reaches Boil

By Alex Altman Mere hours after the inauguration, Time reporter Zeke Miller unwittingly gave President Donald Trump the ultimate gift. Standing in the Oval Office, surrounded by fellow members of the press corps, Miller made what he thought was a stunning observation: the bust of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was missing. On January 20, Miller shared the scoop with his 150,000 Twitter followers without first verifying with the White House that the bust was no longer there. Not surprisingly, the missive uncorked a tidal wave of anger about the apparent omission. The reaction was none of Miller’s concern. It’s […]

PR PEOPLE: WHY REPORTERS LOVE THEM

By: Melissa Smuzynski About nine years into my career as a television reporter, a big milestone happened in my personal life: I got married. During the months leading up to our wedding, my future husband and I planned out every small, painstaking detail. Creating the guest list was one of the hardest steps for us in the process. Together, we whittled down the list, marking off those with whom we weren’t really close until finally we had a solid guest list consisting of 100 of our closest friends and family. I’m telling you this story to make a point. On […]

Effective PR Strategies Can Boost Your Brand

By Brian Murnahan Utilizing public relations strategies as the basis for your communication to key audiences will help build loyalty, awareness and advocacy. As with any communication strategy, first you have to look at the audience makeup before picking the best tactics to reach out with. Once you have determined how to best tell your story you can begin to reach out. For younger audiences, you may learn that working with their favorite YouTubers, bloggers or social media stars will drive behavior changes the quickest. If you audience is in the business world, you may learn placing a news story […]

MediaOcracy

Very interesting take on social media impacts on the public and how it influences our perceptions of what is going on around us. Very much worth watching! Originally published on Mother Jones.

BUILDING A BRAND IN A DIGITAL WORLD

By Melissa Newton-Smuzynski A couple of decades ago, the word media meant newspapers, television, and magazines.  Then came the Internet and the meaning evolved. News organizations started experimenting with websites and creating online content. Soon after, the emergence of online social channels such as Facebook and Twitter added another layer to the definition. Almost instantly, media became interactive.  Businesses and brands could bypass newspapers and television stations and connect directly with their consumers. Finding ways to connect with those consumers became the new job of public relations professionals. Public relations as an industry had to evolve with the media to […]

Donald Trump On His PR Message?

By Brian Murnahan Donald Trump’s rise from political obscurity, where he was an established businessman and TV personality to the elite few who will make the final run toward president is a lesson in public relations mastery or absolute folly. Few would seriously argue that his first months on the campaign trail were seen by most as anything more than a stunt. His statements, one after another, more over the top than the previous with speeches that would sound like mental vomit, where everything in his brain would be hurled out on stage, in front of millions during the nightly news and […]

Trump Rolls into the Republican Convention on PR High

By Alex Altman Donald Trump’s meteoric rise to Republican nominee is as unlikely as it is unprecedented. Five years ago, he was on Comedy Central getting roasted by Snoop Dogg and “The Situation.” Now, he’s on the verge of becoming the first major party nominee who hasn’t held previous office since Dwight Eisenhower. How can a man with no political experience, who’s been embroiled in so much controversy that it warranted a primetime TV special, be in a position to lead the free world? – The purpose of this blog is not to debate Trump’s political views, character or worthiness of […]