Category Archives: PR

Stand (Way) Out in the Crowd

Standing out from the crowd in a unique way not only is a smart business move but it’s also a surefire strategy to entice the news media. Take New York real estate broker Christopher Burnside of Brown Harris Stevens. Guys like him are a dime a dozen. But when selling the Hamptons to his upscale clients, he goes to great heights, and I mean great heights.

Burnside charters a four-seater Cessna and takes to the sky, thereby creating an unusual bond, a lasting memory, a compelling story, and for him, hopefully, a big fat real estate sale. Not surprisingly, The New York Times was right up there in the clouds with him.

The next time you’re thinking about getting your name in the press, consider something unique. That’s what people want to read and that’s what the media wants to write about.

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Jabin Botsford/The New York Times

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Student Tweets…Aetna Listens


An Arizona graduate student with advanced colon cancer turned to Twitter when his insurance company stopped covering his medical bills. Surprisingly, the insurance company’s chief executive tweeted back.

Instead of a PR disaster, it turned into a prime example of how to make lemonade from a bag of lemons. And it’s also a case study of the power of Twitter. Read more.

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How to Kill a Brand

Read this story and weep. The once vaunted Hewlett-Packard has been in decline, not because its products are bad but because the egomaniacs on its board of directors can’t play nice in the sandbox. Where does it leave consumers and stockholders? Twisting slowly in the wind. Only time will tell whether the knight on a white horse – or is it knightess (?) Meg Whitman, founder of eBay and just anointed H.P. CEO, can save the company from its downward slide. Meanwhile, will you give pause the next time you reach for a shiny new H.P. printer or computer?

The Professor gives H.P. an F. What’s your grade?



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Let Them Eat Cake

What was the Mayor of my hometown thinking when he asked the Cake Boss to make dessert for the city’s 150th birthday celebration this weekend…instead of going to any number of local bakeries?

Vineland, New Jersey’s “Cake War” has been grabbing the media spotlight this week, rightly so, because bad PR moves like this one are, um, baked to perfection for today’s easy access to public discourse. Residents and former residents alike are cooking up a commentary storm on Twitter, Facebook and other digital media outlets.

Apparently, the food fight has been resolved and the local bakers have been invited to display their tasty wares alongside the Boss. Like the wacky King Mango Strut in Coconut Grove, which started as an alternative to the Orange Bowl parade in downtown Miami and today is a beloved annual tradition, let’s hope the good folks of Vineland can figure out how to turn this lemon into lemonade, year after year after year.

NEWS FLASH: The Daily Journal is now reporting that the Mayor crumbled and cancelled the Cake Boss. Overlooking your local businesses, especially for an occasion such as this one, is always a recipe for disaster. Too bad the City couldn’t figure out how to turn this fiasco into a sweet PR opportunity.

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