During a morning session of last week’s PR News Media Relations Conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, attendees were asked to discuss professional pain points. In a late-afternoon session, the attendees, working in groups, spent a few minutes thinking about solutions to the issues discussed during the morning session. Here’s a summary of the issues and the ideas proposed for solutions.
Communications executives have begun in earnest to make their way into boardrooms, C-suite meetings and the critical business conversations at their organizations. But the pace is not fast enough and the courage of their convictions not always on display. You could even say: “PR people need to get a spine.”
What should brands do when an employee says something controversial and headlines result? Is the consequence immediate suspension? Should there be a warning first? What about issuing a public warning that not only puts the employee on notice but serves to inform all other staff? The examples of Shepard Smith and Bob Costas bring these questions to light.
No doubt your grandparents have heard of Twitter from President Trump’s constant use of the platform. And you doubtless know that today is the official date for Twitter to expand its 140-character limit to 280. But what pundits have dubbed a bad move for the social media bird’s brand may end up benefitting PR pros and marketers.
It’s been a bad stretch for journalism as several top-flight writers and editors have been brought down due to sexual harassment charges. As journalists and PR professionals are part of the same milieu, it’s an unhappy moment for communicators, too. Still, PR pros have jobs to do. There are several lessons they should take from the incidents of the past few weeks.
With 2017 virtually in the rearview mirror I thought it would be good time to sit down over a couple of Cobb salads with Katie Creaser, SVP at agency Affect and a longtime friend of PR News, and talk about the trends that’ll have the greatest impact on PR practitioners next year. Here’s just one: Expect an acceleration of brand crises in news cycles, and for all brands to continue to lose control over the narrative in a crisis.
That idea you have, which everyone is calling crazy and couldn’t possibly work: well, it probably won’t work. But you should try it anyway. Such was the advice of Guy Kawasaki, one of a dozen powerhouse speakers at the Synergy Global Forum, a blockbuster event that inspired entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to go big.
One of the most uncomfortable sessions during the recent PRSA International Conference last week was a breakout about losing control of your brand’s social media account. Fortunately there are steps communicators can take to help avoid such situations, although many of the tactics sound similar to those used in crisis management. Yet how many brands are prepared for a crisis? Does your brand have an updated crisis plan and conduct regular crisis exercises?
When Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg took a trip to DC last week to assure politicians that Facebook was taking serious the claims about Russian meddling in our elections, it was referred to as a “PR Blitz” by The New York Times, which also mentioned in the NY Times article that the social network hired three crisis… Continued
ESPN’s social media guidelines boil down to “if you wouldn’t say it on our TV or website screens, don’t say it in social.” That leaves a lot of room for interpretation, especially in today’s highly charged climate, but it’s a rule of thumb most of us understand. We all know it’s much easier and safer to express fury and strong opinions on social media than it is to express them in face-to-face situations or on, say, national television. But still—there’s that gray area between personal expression in one’s own social media accounts and one’s responsibility to an employer.