There is an old saying that people only remember you for the bad things. The same saying relates to PR and business. Customers often only remember a company for the bad things they have done and not the good things. This is why it’s important for companies to guard their public image. Here are a few examples of companies who have hit the headlines all for the wrong reasons: Continue reading
If I was teaching a PR class, there are some media events that could make great case studies. Take the case of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., son of the famed civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Jackson Jr. is currently being hospitalized for depression and another unnamed physical ailment. However, the way this story was drawn out is a text-book case of how not to handle the media. Continue reading
Nowadays it is not unusual to hear someone being fired for something they posted online, tweeted or said in the media. It seems there is a new Internet gaffe every day, and sometimes these faux pas are committed by industry insiders who ought to know better.
The latest head to roll for a media gaffe was Joe Williams, a writer for online publication Politico. Williams and Politico had a mutually agreed partying of ways after right-wing media targeted him for saying that “Mitt Romney was more comfortable around white people.”
To many people in the African American community this comment was accurate and harmless, but after right-wing site Breitbart.com whipped up a frenzy of outrage, Williams and Politico began to look bad. Continue reading
One of the problems of working in the media is that you really never turn off. Since TV is ubiquitous, us media types are always analyzing the press to see how we would have handled certain situations differently.
I often find myself saying about media disasters, “How the hell did that happen?” And I am finding myself saying this ever more often during an election year, when we are presented with daily media screw ups. Continue reading
When you work in PR, you are often faced with the question, “What do you do?” And this can be a challenge, because if you give someone the text-book definition of PR, they will end up even more confused. I had one former boss who told me to simply say I work in advertising, because it was easier for people to understand. Continue reading
I have always believed that everyone, whether they are a celebrity or an average person, has the right to express their political views. I remember back in the 1990s, when I was working as a newspaper reporter, there would always be a local eccentric who would run for office every election season, knowing they had no way of winning. But as one of my co-workers pointed out, it was their right as an American to run for political office. Continue reading
In these days of shrinking newsrooms, there is an increasing overlap between the worlds of PR and journalism. And old PR joke is reporters always hate PR professionals, until they need a job.
I have noticed that as journalism jobs are eroding, many reporters are turning to PR and public affairs positions with mixed results. There are so many unemployed PR practioners on the market, that there is fierce competition for these jobs. PR agencies are now looking for applicants who can do more than write well. They also have to be able to pitch, take pictures, do social media, and shoot and edit video. The video after the jump sums up my thoughts. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, I was pulling into my driveway, after a long week of work, when I received a phone call from a reporter I work with wanting a quote for a story. I spent the next two hours calling and e-mailing clients trying to gather a comment. I never did get a comment, but the reporter did express gratitude for the effort.
This little exercise reminds me of why some PR practioners maintain good relations with the media, and others don’t. Here are some points to remember for young PR executives. Continue reading
Another day, and another article bashing the growing ranks of PR flacks. The Economist, a British publication, recently ran an article saying the media business was in danger of being overrun by PR professionals. Republican, a publicly-financed American news outlet, also wrote a similar article recently.
As someone who has worked on both sides of the media business, I am concerned about this phenomenon, but I think these articles overlook a more important point. Media critics should also be writing about the dearth of media outlets. The reason why PR pros numbers are growing is because the number of journalists is decreasing. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, Ilyasha Shabazz, the daughter of Malcolm X, the revered Civil Rights icon, was interviewed by Michel Martin on National Public Radio about a controversial new book, that claimed her father had at one time worked as a male escort.
When confronted with that very sensitive question Shabazz, simply got up and walked out of the interview. I said to myself, “I sure feel sorry for her publicist.”
Anybody who has worked in the public relations industry knows that this is a major faux pas that can do irreparable damage with the media, if you ever have to work with them again. Continue reading