Social Media

Privacy is an Anachronism in PR and Elsewhere: Act Accordingly

September 11th, 2013 by

In an episode of “Family Guy,” Stewie is hobnobbing at a party when he announces that “you’re going to love this” as a prelude to a politically incorrect joke. But before he says anything, he goes outside the door to see if the coast is clear. Then he runs out to the street to see… Continued

Look Up. It Can Be Addictive.

September 3rd, 2013 by

Women are being told to “lean in” to advance their careers; others are encouraged to lean out. I’ve got some advice that’s gender-neutral and is in response to a troublesome trend permeating society, from business meetings to social gatherings, from conference rooms to concert halls, from boardrooms to, um, bedrooms. The advice? Look Up! Move… Continued

When the Picture Doesn’t Match the Story

August 28th, 2013 by

In the tech world, one of the iconic moments of the 1990s was when Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997. He went to Macworld and gave one of his best speeches, during which he announced a partnership with Microsoft. Bill Gates made an appearance during that speech, projected on a giant screen behind Jobs.… Continued

Avoid the ‘Snapchat’ Press Release

August 18th, 2013 by

I was at a PR News Conference a couple of weeks ago, and during a Q&A with a panel critiquing press inquiries, the question came up of when and how to follow-up with a non-responsive reporter. I was the moderator of the panel, and I counseled persistence. I’ve found in my career as a journalist… Continued

7 Seconds to a Better Press Release

August 5th, 2013 by

Let’s assume that your press release landed in the right in-box, meaning the reporter is the right target for your message. For anyone in public relations, just getting to this point is a major achievement. But don’t get all cocky, because what comes next is critical. As a reporter by trade and one who still… Continued

Native Advertising: Sticky or Icky?

July 19th, 2013 by

The second story on BuzzFeed’s website this morning was…wait for it…“12 Comebacks We Can All Agree With.” (I say ‘wait for it’ because anyone who knows BuzzFeed’s editorial approach knows its love for lists.) It was a sponsored story—paid advertising—posted on behalf of Hostess, whose Twinkies and other brands are back after the production ceased… Continued

Click on This Headline

July 3rd, 2013 by

OK, I stole the idea for this headline from Abbie Hoffman, author of “Steal This Book.” But let’s call it an homage instead of outright theft. My headline was inspired by WFMU radio host Tom Scharpling, who was, in his show last night, making fun of headlines that are naked ploys to get you to click… Continued

Paula Deen, J.Lo, Next Crisis: What is PR’s Role in a Hot Mess?

July 1st, 2013 by

There are countless communications takeaways from the recent celebrity gaffes. Whether it’s Paula Deen dealing with allegations of being a racist and then dropped like a buttered sweet potato by every brand partner, or Jennifer Lopez singing “Happy Birthday” to Turkmenistan’s authoritarian ruler for his 56th birthday last Saturday night, one thing is for sure:… Continued

Firing of Zimmer Doesn’t Exactly Suit a Social Media Age

June 25th, 2013 by

In abruptly firing Men’s Wearhouse founder and executive chairman George Zimmer, the men’s clothing company has sent a few messages to the marketplace, none of which are likely to help the brand’s reputation or its PR efforts.

How to Avoid the Stink in Your Storytelling

June 20th, 2013 by

My son Max tells very long stories that veer in curious directions. By the time he’s nearing the point, he forgets the ending. It’s rather cute and endearing – he is, after all, only 12 years old. He will sometimes exclaim frustratingly: “I forgot what I was going to say!” Can we admit that often… Continued