The infrastructure renewal plan for New York’s Penn Station could’ve been a PR nightmare for Amtrak, which owns the station. But after the work was completed and service resumed as usual in early September, commuters seemed to come through the other side unscathed. Amtrak’s communications team can claim some of the credit for that success.
Disney recently barred a Los Angeles Times film critic from pre-screening its movies in retaliation for unfavorable coverage, and many critics and critics associations are showing solidarity by refusing to review or give awards to Disney movies. The feud calls into question Disney’s media relations strategy—rather than defuse an issue it had with one media outlet, it poured fuel on the fire and in the process, the story it disputes has been amplified.
While the NAACP’s travel advisory for African Americans is only the most recent reference to airlines’ perceived discriminatory behavior toward travelers, its calling out of a specific brand perhaps augurs a new era of coordinated confrontation between mission-based nonprofit organizations and brands.
You’ve heard the adage “timing is everything.” Well, it applies even to media pitching, says Jayme Owen, SVP, FleishmanHillard. The firm’s guidance, gathered informally, on best times to pitch and send news releases is shown on the accompanying chart.
Every day, PR is doing its job rather well. Communicators are masterfully engaged in storytelling, managing reputations and fostering relationships with its various and varied constituencies. But one major constituency it’s still suffering reputation problems with is the media. Is there a misunderstanding that PR is called in only when all else is lost, when it “comes to that”?
Back in January 2015, it seemed like such sweet pairing: Dannon and NFL quarterback Cam Newton. Dannon had just made a deal to be the official yogurt of the NFL, and made a side deal with Newton, who would serve as the lead pitchman for Dannon’s new Oikos Triple Zero. What could possibly go wrong? Brands make deals with celebrities and influencers all the time, and we all know that once a deal is signed, the celebrity or influencer will be super, super careful not to do or say anything that might reflect badly on the brand.
As PR practitioners, it’s easy to forget the multitude of ways that other fields—such as social media and influencer marketing—can improve and enhance other core aspects of the job, such as media relations. Social media can offer a treasure trove of stories because it brings you closer to those who are using and loving your product. And influencers can also make for great brand ambassadors on platforms other than social media. Here are three ways you can mine these areas to take your storytelling to the next level.
It’s a fact of life in today’s market: many PR people shuffle from sector to sector and region to region during their careers. What are the best ways to learn a new field as well as the journalists in it? Our author provides tips that will help you quickly gain leverage with media members in your new sector and get a handle on trends.
With brands creating content without going through media channels, is the art of pitching stories dead? It just might be more alive than ever, our author argues, although he admits pitchers will need to adapt some of their tactics slightly.
You’ve got a great story to tell and a media representative ready to listen, but your company’s gun-shy leadership doesn’t want to engage with the press. While staying away from the spotlight can be the right call at times, we know earned media can help burnish your company’s reputation and make it more resonant. Try taking small steps with your executives to demonstrate that not all media members are looking to attack them and the brand.