Conventional wisdom held that brands should avoid weighing in on politics or social issues. But as research reports and surveys show, consumers now want brands to stand for something beyond goods and services. That said, brands wade into the political world on several levels, although they do so at their peril, and sometimes their motivation is unclear.
Stories by Seth Arenstein
Back in October 2016 John Roderick observed that candidate Donald Trump had jettisoned the word “apology” from his campaign’s PR playbook. Nominee Trump refused to apologize and instead attacked accusers. That tactic worked well enough to propel Trump to victory. Now facing growing condemnation of his immigration policy separating children from families, Trump is sticking to that tactic. It will be interesting to see if/how he communicates a revision to immigration policy.
PR News and its Media Relations Working Group, comprised of 23 media relations and communications specialists, surveyed PR pros during March and April 2018 to gauge attitudes about media relations today and tomorrow. More than 400 responded to questions about the difficulty of obtaining media coverage, the importance (or not) of investing in media relations and earned coverage during an age of social media influencers and brand-created content.
It is unlikely we’ll read much about brand communicators working long hours as a spate of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) grips corporate America, particularly in media. Communicators will be tasked with explaining what a future merged company will mean to employees, which is the heavy lifting of M&As, argues Larry Parnell of George Washington University. While most M&As fail to provide shareholder value, strong internal communications can provide a foundation for mergers to succeed. Jason Meyer of APCO Worldwide provides best practices for communicating during times of change.
In one of his first public appearances since retiring as special counsel to President Trump, lawyer Ty Cobb during an ethics forum in Washington, D.C., offered conventional wisdom for brand communicators mired in a crisis: respond quickly. He also urged people to dial back their hate and demonization of each other in an effort to restore a civil discourse.
It’s far from a secret that Instagram is a visual channel. Still, some communicators use color palettes, grid layouts and themes to boost engagement on their Instagram feeds. For apartments.com AVP of social media Erica Campbell Byrum, color choice and layout are critical to crafting an Instagram personality that consumers will recognize and engage with at high rates.
With Instagram boasting 800 million active monthly users and 80% of them following brands on the platform, we asked communicators for best practices for being successful on the graphic-based platform. They told us carefully picked influencers and attention to creating consistent visuals are critical.
A pair of major PR firms are taking a page from the playbook of consulting firms, offering clients easier paths to a variety of expertise. Weber Shandwick is launching a unit that will consult to brands about corporate culture. On its 90th birthday Ketchum is promising to encircle clients with 14 industrial specialities as well as the traditional PR communications offerings.
Our weekly roundup of news, trends and personnel moves in communications and marketing. This week’s stories feature the the un-apology of baseball player Robinson Cano, President Trump’s Spygate, Facebook’s fight against fake news and an honor for Finn Partners’ Gil Bashe.
Our weekly roundup of trends, news and personnel moves in communications and marketing. This week’s stories include the royal wedding’s PR lessons, a Novartis lawyer is a victim of hiring Michael Cohen, Michigan State University and more than 300 gymnasts who suffered under Dr. Larry Nassar’s abuse agree on a $500 million settlement, but how will the school pay?