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 […]

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 […]

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…

Tips for Working with Social Influencers

By Alex Altman The relationship between brands and celebrities goes back decades. Watch TV for an hour today and it’s a virtual certainty that you’ll see Jennifer Garner hawking credit cards, Chris Paul peddling insurance, or some other famous person selling you something you don’t need. In 2017 though, you don’t need to star in sport or cinema to get paid like a celebrity for endorsing a product. All you need is a large social presence. People who wield their social clout to promote brand messages on their own accounts are known as social influencers, and they’re part of a […]

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 […]

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 […]

Is Your Business Making These Mistakes On Social Media?

By Alex Altman How low can brands go on social media? In the past couple of years, the social universe has been treated to a comedy of errors so shocking it should be the premise of a Judd Apatow movie. We’ve seen a clothing company celebrate the Fourth of July with a picture of the Challenger explosion. We’ve seen a tone-deaf pizza brand push frozen pies on domestic violence victims. We’ve even seen an airline Tweet a pornographic image in response to a customer complaint. Most recently a San Antonio mattress company posts an ad for a 9/11 sale where […]

Social Media Mistakes and What to Avoid

Is Your Business Making These Mistakes On Social Media? By Alex Altman How low can brands go on social media? In the past couple of years, the social universe has been treated to a comedy of errors so shocking it should be the premise of a Judd Apatow movie. We’ve seen a clothing company celebrate the Fourth of July with a picture of the Challenger explosion. We’ve seen a tone-deaf pizza brand push frozen pies on domestic violence victims. We’ve even seen an airline Tweet a pornographic image in response to a customer complaint. I do wonder if his issue […]