There’s much PR pros can learn about communicating the intricacies of AI from a story this week. It seems Amazon’s Alexa indeed is listening to our conversations. In fact, the hockey-puck-looking device has an army of 1,000 humans who listen to what it picks up in homes around the world. One lesson is that communicators need to urge brands to be transparent in their AI activities.
The concept of word-of-mouth marketing has stood the test of time. Even through multiple generations, word-of-mouth remains one of the most powerful forms of marketing in existence. What makes this idea trickier is that it’s not something a business can just buy, like they would an ad. Sure, there are options such as influencer marketing, which has also proven to be a powerful tool. But how does a brand take advantage of the advertising alternative that’s completely free?
Here at PR News, we see such corporate pranks as a perfect window into the optics of humor and how they can, or can’t, work in your external messaging. Following last year’s April Fools’ Day recap of the good, the bad and the ugly, let’s look at some of this year’s campaigns that had us splitting our sides, and others that made our stomachs churn.
Each year, PR News recognizes the leaders and campaigns creating the most social good at our CSR & Nonprofit awards luncheon. The 2019 event, hosted at the the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., saw… Continued
The standard line today is that it’s best for brands to practice transparency as much as possible. Maybe, though, the largest brands can get away with not being transparent. Amazon made two significant policy changes in the first weeks of March and refused to say anything about them. Nike endured a few months of crisis prior to Colin Kaepernick with nary a public word. Was avoiding comment the right call?
That moment you’ve secured the first batch of influencers to promote your brand’s products, services or values is incredibly exciting. Partnering with people who can speak to what you do is an increasingly valuable media relations strategy whether your influencers are micro or macro. But with the Federal Trade Commission cracking down on influencers for not disclosing their partnerships and relationships, you’ve got to make sure that your contract, or influencer agreement, is clear in both language and expectations around disclosure.
The fatal crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 on March 10, 2019, re-opened PR issues surrounding a previous air disaster, the demise of a Lion Air flight in October 2018. Boeing’s 737 Max 8 was the aircraft in both crashes. Boeing denies a new flight control system in the Max 8 is to blame for the Lion Air crash. It also claims it communicated to airlines how to use the system. Some victims’ families deny Boeing’s claims.
There’s much to celebrate today, which is International Women’s Day, or IWD as it’s known on social media. While many brands are taking the day to tout the strides women have made, others are selfishly co-opting the moment in pursuit of profits. Meanwhile the PR community should have mixed emotions today too. PR has had plenty of success in recognizing women, yet sexism remains, as does a wage gap and a dearth of women in leadership roles.
On Tues., March 5, investment bank and financial services company Goldman Sachs Group Inc. announced that it would loosen up its stringent employee dress code. Announced via internal memo signed by Goldman executives including chief executive David Solomon, this new “firm wide flexible dress code” has been instituted due to “the changing nature of workplaces generally in favor of a more casual environment.” The memo also urged employees to dress in a manner consistent with their client’s expectations.
A brand’s culture and values are crucial components of its identity—a reminder to your customers that you’re in business for the right reasons. As Simon Sinek famously said, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” But sharing the why around your culture and values can sometimes be difficult. Communicators face the challenge of doing so in an authentic way. That’s where video is an often-underutilized tool for sharing the intangibles that make up the very core of your brand’s DNA.