Monthly Archives: May 2011

Today’s Lesson

How many times have you heard someone comment, “I never stop learning.” Technology moves fast, and we owe it to ourselves to keep up with it. In looking back at my career on one side or the other of the media profession, I can’t help but laugh about the days before the fax machine.

Flash forward and here we are in the 21st century, thick in the middle of the social media revolution. I know, some of you still don’t get it. But guess what? It’s not going away. Do yourself a favor and spend 15 minutes a day giving yourself an education. Here’s a good start: an article from Mashable describing eight brands that have found success on Facebook…and what we can learn from them. Read the article.

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Filed under PR School

Give Thanks on Memorial Day

I am proud to be associated with American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, which will be built in Washington, DC. Here’s one way to help make sure the Memorial becomes a reality.

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Filed under Special Events, Uncategorized

Hasta La Vista, Baby

Talk about blowing your brand. What is it with older, male politicians? Aren’t they supposed to be slowing down as they get older? Or is the limelight so much of an aphrodisiac that one throws out all good judgement?

This weeks two new names were added to the list of brand busters: former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has admitted to fathering the child of an ex-employee,  and the head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, sitting in the slammer following his arrest for sexual assault on a hotel maid.

Thanks to 21st century technology and the sheer wattage of this news, these politicians can rest assured that the smearing of their names will reach every corner of the globe. If John Edwards or Eliot Spitzer are any indication, re-branding will be a long, slow road. Bon voyage.

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Filed under PR Problem

Boost Your Brand in the Community

Want to strengthen your brand and do a good deed at the same time? Follow the lead of Bank of America, which dedicates a page on its website to its community relations efforts. I am particularly excited about the video highlighting Breakthrough Miami, a non-profit which aims to inspire and encourage talented, motivated middle school students to enter and thrive in top college prep high school programs, and to graduate from college.

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Filed under Branding

Will the Real Story Please Stand Up?

Usually, PR professionals and journalists like to keep to one story. But sometimes, as was the case this past week in Pakistan, there simply is no way to get all the facts 100% correct the first time around. As New York Times reporter Elizabeth Bumiller points out in her May 5 article, the account of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s home was hastily told, and as a result, changed from day to day.

As a result of Twitter, Facebook, and other real-time technologies, there is enormous pressure today to produce a constant stream of news. Those of us who were awake Sunday night, watching TV or connected online, learned something big was going to come down, so we stay connected. And we’ve remained connected to one of the biggest stories of the past decade. This means we want to be constantly fed with new news. So journalists — and the White House — felt compelled to give us something…anything, to keep us satiated.

In hindsight, was it a mistake? Is it difficult to re-tell a story when so many key pieces have changed? In general, I would say yes. Best to get your facts lined up correctly the first time around. Does the White House deserve a pass on this one? Absolutely, but the public will tolerate only so many different versions. Let’s hope a definitive story emerges soon.

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Filed under PR Commentary