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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 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?

Tips for Communicators During Mental Health Month

May 21st, 2019 by

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Since “PR executive” is on the 2019 list of top 10 most stressful jobs, it’s important for communicators, and those who manage and employ them, to consider ways to overcome stress and other mental health issues. Creating an open culture is one tactic that may help mental health and improve communications results.

University of Maryland’s Latest Crisis Shows It Hasn’t Learned a Thing

May 21st, 2019 by

The communications team at University of Maryland College Park must know that its past year has been bereft with poor decision-making. Last fall, the school  made headlines for its poor handling of a crisis after student and athlete Jordan McNair was found dead following a rigorous football practice. Now the beleaguered school finds another crisis on its hands, once again exacerbated by poor communications and a defensive strategy that horribly backfired.

How to Help Your Client Deal With Negative Online Reviews

May 20th, 2019 by

Getting a negative review, let alone one that goes viral, is a moment every PR pro dreads. But if a business provides a product or service, it’s unlikely they’ll completely avoid ever getting a bad review from an unsatisfied customer. In today’s click-happy environment and the ease with which people can post opinions online, ire is often taken out in words and on reputation. But there are some things you can do to control the situation and mitigate the damage.

Empowering Activists to Carry Your Message

May 17th, 2019 by

PRNEWS staffer Sophie Maerowitz spends her off-hours volunteering for New York City cyclist, pedestrian and public transit advocacy organization Transportation Alternatives. At the start, she figured it would be the usual rabble-rousing stuff: showing up to protests, tweeting photos while holding up signs, et al. She now realizes it’s that and much more. She offers tips from her experience at TransAlt that communicators can adapt to urge brand advocates to become involved in social issues.

Why Community Is Key to Building Your Brand—And How to Create One

May 17th, 2019 by

Call it a target market, tribe, or online community: In all cases, building and maintaining an audience for your products or services is now key to maintaining a competitive edge. What’s more, with the amount of time that audiences spend online rising, even as attention spans are declining, it’s more imperative than ever for businesses to find clever ways to engage end users.

TWA Hotel Opening Strikes a Chord for Earned Media

May 16th, 2019 by

How does an airline that hasn’t sold a ticket since 2001 appeal to the public and resurrect a brand? We asked Sara Joseph, SVP, lifestyle & hospitality lead at BerlinRosen, TWA Hotel’s PR firm of record, about re-rolling out a brand that sparks fond memories and has an opportunity to tell its story to a new generation.

When and How to Break Difficult News

May 16th, 2019 by

Is there ever a good time to break bad news? Perhaps not, but letting it sit for awhile is unlikely to make it more palatable. Part of the communicator’s job is communicating news that might anger employees. A group of PR pros offers tips and best practices on how to communicate difficult news.

Spotify’s ‘Storyline’ Feature Puts Creators in Charge of Their Own Narrative

May 15th, 2019 by

We are in an age when many artists and creators complain of their narrative intentions being twisted in the interest of pandering to algorithms, demographics, or stilted rollout strategies around marketing their new release. Still, one of the foundational services offered by full-service PR firms includes an client bio and one-sheet for the new release or product. How does our profession make peace with this disconnect?

Tips for How PR Pros Should Answer Media Questions

May 15th, 2019 by

There’s no rule in media relations that says communicators need to answer a reporter’s question immediately, particularly during a crisis. Never lie to a reporter, but sometimes doing the best thing for a brand means deferring on a question until you’re ready with an answer that’s carefully crafted. Veteran communicator Arthur Solomon offers tips about how to do this well.