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 […]

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 […]

How Google Analytics Can Optimize Your PR Campaign

By Alex Altman One of the best tools for measuring the results of your PR campaign is Google Analytics. The most widely used web analytics service on the Internet, Google Analytics tracks a number of data points that can be used to strengthen your web-based PR initiatives and improve your ROI. From bounce rates to user demographics, the real-time intelligence that can be extracted from Google Analytics can be enormously valuable. Say you’re a painting company that just launched a national blogging campaign to increase the visibility of a new color. Imagine being able to measure not only how many […]

How Harvey and Irma Proved the Power of Corporate Philanthropy

By Alex Altman They rushed in from all corners of the country, hauling boats, medical supplies and drinking water. They knocked on doors, waded through contaminated water, and put their lives on the line to help complete strangers. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma provided another forceful reminder that calamity brings out the best in people. And apparently, Corporate America, too. Over the last month, businesses of all sizes have stepped up in a big way, collectively donating an estimated $157 million toward the hurricane relief efforts. At least 30 companies have pledged $1 million or more. While humanitarianism is all the […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]