Category Archives: John Trader

3 Ways Pessimism is an Asset in PR

Bookmark and Share
Does pessimism have a place in PR?
Half empty or half full?

An article recently published over at the MIT Sloan Management Review blog caught my attention. Essentially, the article asserted that in a world where optimism reigns, a little pessimism is a good thing.

In our culture, pessimism is generally perceived as a state of mind where one anticipates negative outcomes. We often classify individuals as either optimistic or pessimistic based on the age old question, “Is the glass half empty or half full?” We tend to classify those who answer “half empty” as stewards of a pessimistic outlook, always focusing on the negative and what’s likely to go wrong.

Despite the stigma that pessimism has, can it be interpreted as an undervalued asset and a valuable tool in PR? Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

Latin America Crisis Communication – Is the Secret Service in Turmoil?

Bookmark and Share

Background

Photo courtesy of StephanP1975 on Flickr

Did you hear the news? Last week while President Obama was busy finalizing his plans for a trip to Columbia for a summit with Latin American leaders the Secret Service agents assigned to his security detail were busy too, scouting out the area, meeting with local security officials and hiring prostitutes to entertain them back in their hotel room.

Wait, what? Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

5 Ways to Stop Cutting the Brown Grass in Social Media

Bookmark and Share

When are you going to stop cutting the brown grass of PR?

During summer a few years ago, I was on my way to a meeting and I saw something that made me scratch my head. We were going through one of those incredibly dry summers and local watering bans had caused all known forms of vegetation to wither and die. Snapshots of our community could have easily doubled for the Sahara.

Naturally, in the absence of water, all the grass had died and turned brown yet I stood there and watched as a team of landscapers busily cut, trimmed and weed wacked away as if we lived in the tropics during rainy season and the grass had shot up a healthy two inches since their last sweep of the office park.

“For Pete’s sake,” I thought, “why in the world would they spend time cutting grass that was obviously dead?”

2012 was predicted to be the obvious maturation of social media for businesses. Reaching past the “shiny new object” status deeper into data and analytics and into new applications like targeted visual content generation, mobile, and real-time responses, this was the year we all could roll up our sleeves, dig in the garden, and reap the social media crops we had been cultivating for the past few years. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

What Spaghetti Sauce Can Teach Us About Empathy

Bookmark and Share
Ragu - Das Original © by Toni Birrer

Earlier this month, Ragu spaghetti sauce launched a video Facebook campaign called “Ragu Asks” aimed at uncovering the mystery of how parents motivate their finicky kids to eat. The short, 30 second video content that followed was created based on responses from their community and the result was a string of hilarious videos depicting parents going to bizarre lengths to get their kids to eat, which as most parents know can often times be a monumental struggle. Although the content was extremely exaggerated and a bit absurd it seemed to strike a chord with parents through its deft blend of comedy and desperation to speak at what can often be a daily struggle that parents fight to keep kids nourished and healthy. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

The Importance of Follow Up in PR

Bookmark and Share

A peculiar thing happened to me last week. Something that caught me off guard and made me wonder if the majority of us truly understand the value that people place on following up.

by Svadilfari

I attended a career fair on behalf of my employer to collect resumes and meet prospective job candidates who were seeking employment. At the end of the day I had in-depth conversations with about 35 potential candidates (some of whom were working and others who were currently unemployed) and handed my business card to each one noting that our company vigorously participated in social media and I was the point of contact for follow up. Following the conversations, every single one of the candidates firmly shook my hand, looked me in the eye and said they were very interested in working for my company. Nearly a week later, I have received follow up messages from exactly two of the candidates via email. Two. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

When Social Media Outreach Becomes an Obligation

Bookmark and Share

One of the most fascinating things about social media is how businesses are inventing new ways to capitalize on its potential to meet unique objectives they set relevant to their own verticals.

Few thought prior to the explosion of this medium that using it to connect with communities would permeate so quickly to virtually every corner of the world. However, as with most new communication platforms that have evolved over the last century, some are slow to adopt for a number of reasons – be it lack of education, lack of resources, lack of perceived relevance or simply plain old ignorance. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

5 Essential Characteristics of a Successful PR Pro

Bookmark and Share

In order to be successful in the modern world of PR, there are certain essential characteristics that one must possess to fight adversity, capitalize on opportunities, maintain a positive image, encourage word of mouth, and build strategy. When initially coming up with the idea for this post, I jotted down 17 must have characteristics. Here are my top 5: Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

Apple’s Positive Earnings Report Creates Bad PR

Bookmark and Share

Wait, what?

Last week, Apple released its fourth quarter 2011 earnings, posting a profit of $13.06 billion on revenue of $46 billion. Earnings per share were $13.87, far exceeding analysts’ expectations of $10.08 per share. Fueled in large part by their stratospheric sales of the iPad and iPhone, Apple’s monstrous quarter brought bright smiles to shareholders but also started to illuminate the spotlight on a not so glamorous side of their business: outsourcing labor to China. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

The Paula Deen Case – A Lesson in PR Transparency

Bookmark and Share

Last week, Paula Deen – the Southern Belle cook with the penchant for deep fried delights – announced that she has Type 2 diabetes. Although a tragic medical condition for anyone, what’s unusual about this case is that she waited three years after her initial diagnosis to reveal that she was inflicted with the disease, which is often associated with a diet high in fat, very similar to the recipes and decadent culinary delights that she is known for. What’s even more curious about this situation is the synchronized announcement following Deen’s diabetes revelation that she has also signed a deal to promote a diabetes medication. An article last week in AdAge about this story adroitly pointed out that:

“It’s the kind of thing that gives our industry (marketing/PR) a black eye – the reputation that we’ll do anything, sell anything for money. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share

Five Tips to Practice Effective Internal PR

Bookmark and Share

We hear a lot about external PR best practices these days. Articles, blog posts, podcasts, books and a host of other references talk about “5 Ways Media Training Can Help You and Your Clients” or “How to Become a Reporter’s Best Friend” and “Five Ways Being in PR is Like Running a Group Blog.”

These are all excellent references for us to read and digest, identifying meaningful bits and pieces of the advice and observations that we can put into practice to become more effective PR practitioners. As I gaze around the PR digital ecosphere there is one thing that has always stumped me about the subject of PR advice – why isn’t there more written about effective internal PR as the foundation for external strategies?

Seems logical that if you can’t get a grasp on internal PR, external campaigns would be a lot more difficult to execute. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share