Stories by Seth Arenstein

Mets’ Alderson Commits Errors Doing Damage Control

January 21st, 2021 by

PR pros can learn plenty from the NY Mets’ handling of a recent employee sexual misconduct episode. While the team moved quickly to dismiss the employee, it botched the follow-up, failing to own the incident and attempting to pass it off as a failure that couldn’t be avoided.

An Inauguration Day Conundrum: To Pitch or Not to Pitch?

January 20th, 2021 by

It seemed that most of the nation stopped today to watch the inauguration. With nearly wall-to-wall coverage on the incoming president and VP, is it wise to think about pitching a non-political story now? As with so much of PR and communication, there’s no definitive answer.

PRSA Taps Media Exec and Hockey Mom Linda Thomas Brooks as CEO

January 11th, 2021 by

We had a good feeling about Linda Thomas Brooks, who was named PRSA’s CEO today, before we met her. The last line of her bio did the trick.

Pizza Chain Bakes Itself into a Corner with Political Statement

January 6th, 2021 by

Pizza Inn took a stand on the 2020 presidential election, stating that it’s unsure if the contest was legitimate. It’s a stance that a significant portion of the public disputes, in addition to several dozen court cases that upheld the election. Why would a brand intentionally alienate potential customers?


Virtual Events are Back for 2021, Though There are Questions Around Their Relative Value

January 5th, 2021 by

It seems safe for communicators to assume live events won’t return, at best, before late summer or Q4. That leaves some eight to nine months for companies to continue to stage virtual activities, including trade shows, press conferences, media interviews and other events.


Communicators Face Multiple Hurdles as They Race to Erase U.S.’s Vaccine Hesitancy

January 5th, 2021 by

With emergency approval of vaccines, the need to communicate the importance of prompt vaccination seems obvious: Without 75-80 percent of Americans vaccinated, herd immunity, leading to a return to normalcy, will not be reached. And now, with the discovery of an additional, more contagious virus strain, getting Americans vaccinated promptly seems even more critical.

A Tall Order: Strategic Pitches Ensure Media Coverage for Historic Arts Venue During COVID-19

December 1st, 2020 by

We visited the web site of Newark Symphony Hall (NSH), the Garden State’s largest arts venue and one of its oldest. The first thing we saw is that NSH is closed for COVID. So, try getting support for arts-related projects when performances are suspended. Yet that’s the assignment for women-owned Violet PR, which won what seemed, on first glance, a dubious victory, to represent NSH.


DEI, Purpose, Crisis, Personalization and Technology Seen Powering Successful PR in 2021

December 1st, 2020 by

For 2020, personalization was predicted, in 2019, as a dominant theme. Trust topped the 2019 list. Some trends for 2021 extend what 2020 highlighted: greater emphasis on DEI, purpose and internal communication.

cruise during COVID

How a Small PR Firm Handled a Crisis at Sea and a Global Media Frenzy at the Pandemic’s Start

December 1st, 2020 by

[ Editor’s Note: Having a plan is the minimum requirement for crisis pros. That’s not always possible as veteran brand communicator Bobbie Carlton tells us in this Q&A.] PRNEWS: Give us the scenario

working mom at home distracted by kids

HPE CCO Emphasizes Internal Communication as Half its Workforce Plans to WFH Post-Virus

November 30th, 2020 by

The PR industry might need to come up with a new term for Internal communication now that so many staffers are working from home. For HPE CCO Jennifer Temple the issue seems permanent. In a wide-ranging interview she tells us nearly half her company’s 62,000 global staff probably will not return to the office on a regular basis after the pandemic. Temple tells us how her team plans to engage a segmented employee base.