Stories by Melissa Hoffmann

The Jon Stewart Effect: 3 Things to Mull Before Getting a Celebrity Activist

June 12th, 2019 by

Nearly 18 years after a terrorist attack on America snuffed out thousands of lives, the first responders who fought to restore order and rescue the injured that day are back on the front pages. Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart’s appearance on C-SPAN yesterday in testimony to a congressional subcommittee was powerful and relentlessly on-brand. But a celebrity face and voice isn’t a guarantee that your message will be received, or received well. Here are some questions to keep in mind if you think you might need a celebrity to get people to pay attention to your cause.

First Person: James Wright, CEO of Red Havas

June 10th, 2019 by

In this regular feature, PR News asks movers and shakers in the industry to share a little bit of their personal history and personality through answering a series of 12 questions.

PR Fail? Sephora Denies Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reasons

June 5th, 2019 by

If you are following the crisis communications playbook, you know that taking swift, deliberate and public action to right a wrong is enough to not only mitigate a brand’s crisis—it can even flip the narrative and earn that brand new followers. So after singer/songwriter SZA was racially profiled in a store and blasted the brand on social media, Sephora’s declaration that it would shut down operations for an inclusiveness and diversity training today seemed a smart crisis response. So why is the brand declaring its training has nothing to do with the incident?

Pride Month: PR’s Work for LGBTQ Equality Is Never Over

May 30th, 2019 by

Pride Month in June is not only a celebration of how much better things have gotten in a country that once treated LGBTQ people as social pariahs. It’s also a reminder that we still have a long way to go to true equality. Two PR pros discuss the past, present and future of LGBTQ issues and how they relate to PR. This also will be the subject of a June 6 panel at the Museum of Public Relations in NY.

How a Solid Brand Persona Can Boost Your Business

May 22nd, 2019 by

Brand personas as a concept has been gaining ground as businesses seek for new ways to differentiate themselves and gain competitive advantage in the face of increased competition and generational shifts in loyalty. Differentiation through personality is a way to keep consumers loyal to a brand even though other elements may resist differentiation (i.e., service, product selection, and price). How can you determine your brand’s persona and apply this to your strategy?

US Olympic athlete Alysia Montano

Nike’s Quick Response to Maternity Snafu Shows Brand’s PR Acumen

May 21st, 2019 by

Nike found itself in the midst of a major PR crisis when The New York Times published an opinion piece on Mother’s Day that revealed Nike did not provide pregnant athletes with paid maternity leave. Nike has now released a statement saying that all future contracts will be written to protect pregnant athletes from discrimination. In this action, Nike is clearly following the crisis management playbook and changed the narrative in its favor in its quick remediation. What can we, as PR professionals, learn from this?

First Person: Erin Flior, Head of Digital Comms for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

April 30th, 2019 by

In this regular feature, PR News asks movers and shakers in the industry to share a little bit of their personal history and personality through answering a series of 10 questions.

Struggling to Prove ROI to the C-Suite? Do These 4 Things

April 15th, 2019 by

There’s no question that measuring the value of PR is one of a communicator’s biggest challenges. Whether you’re charged with handling your brand’s media relations, social media campaigns or both, a pointed question from the C-suite lingers: “How does this tie to our bottom line?” At the Measurement Conference later this week, experts will explain how to get senior leaders to see the value of your PR efforts. Here are some tips to get you started.

PRNEWS and the Industry Are at an Inflection Point—What’s Next?

April 9th, 2019 by

To better serve the community, PRNEWS parent, Access Intelligence, brought together what had been separate operating groups. With this restructuring, Diane Schwartz, the longtime leader of PRNEWS and senior vice president of the Access Intelligence Media Group, departed the company after 23 years. When she came aboard, PRNEWS was just a weekly newsletter.

How to Make the C-Suite Understand the Value of PR

April 8th, 2019 by

It’s an unfortunate reality that some C-suite executives are either unaware or unconvinced of how communications and PR are providing value to their business, which can lead to slashed budgets and high turnover rates. Proving PR’s worth to the C-suite is one of the most hotly anticipated sessions at PRNEWS’ upcoming Measurement Conference April 17-18 in Washington, D.C. Here are six steps you can take to show PR’s value in a way that your company’s leadership will understand.