Pitch Perfect: How to Nail Your PR Media Pitch

By Alex Altman Driving reporters to media events is one of the most important jobs for PR professionals. Naturally, it’s also one of the most difficult. Reporters are time-strapped, unpredictable, and inherently cautious of giving away free publicity. These are some pretty hefty barriers. But with the right brand of salesmanship, they can be overcome. If low turnouts have become all-too-common at your PR events, there’s a strong possibility that your media pitch is lacking. The media pitch is often the biggest factor in convincing a reporter to cover this event instead of that event. Here are some tips to […]

6 Companies That Won PR in 2017

By Alex Altman There’s no way to spin it: 2017 was a bad year for PR. Over the last 12 months, seemingly every corporation, celebrity, congressman and TV network in America has found itself in hot water for one reason or another. But there were some incredible PR wins, too, many occurring this summer, when corporate generosity was needed more than ever following the spate of natural disasters that rocked Texas, Puerto Rico and other parts of the country. These are the stories I’d like to focus on as the year comes to an end. Amazon: While Amazon’s $13.7 billion […]

A 6-Point Checklist for More Shareable Press Releases

By Alex Altman You’ve crafted the perfect headline, finagled the just-right quote, triple-checked your spelling, and scored client approval. By all traditional measures, your press release is ready for life in the wild. But how long will it survive? While quality content is important, it hardly matters if the press release isn’t sufficiently “shareable.” This wasn’t an issue 10-15 years ago, when generating awareness was as simple as sending an advisory to local media. But today, creating a buzz is more of a self-starting enterprise — one that requires both social media savvy and an understanding of how your audience […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Food Giant CEOs Gather in Houston for Global Food Safety Conference

GFSI Press Advisory  North American icons Tyson, Cargill and Wegmans join with international peers in top industry event   WHAT:  Press conference to launch the 16th Global Food Safety Conference, the industry’s flagship global food safety event, bringing together over 1,000 food industry representatives from more than 60 countries. Announcements at Tuesday’s press conference are expected to reveal groundbreaking strides in public-private collaboration, with the outcomes of the G2G and G2B meetings (government and business) hosted by GFSI just ahead of the conference. This is a unique opportunity for governments to speak amongst themselves and with business leaders on how […]

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 […]