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
The other day a client forwarded an email call-to-arms from his president urging Marketing, PR – and by extension us, I guess – to develop a nugget that best described the company’s “differentiators,” to win customers’ hearts and minds. “I have a better idea,” I fired back. “Let’s ask him. He’s the leader of this outfit and ought to know.”
I’m fairly certain that no member in good standing of a professional PR organization or advocate of the Stockholm Accords – you know, people with finely tuned sensitivities –would ever talk to a client like that, certainly not in response to a request from the CEO. Only an ex-journalist would be so brash. Having spent much of our careers wading through the guff churned out by government agencies, corporate PR departments, marketing dweebs and the leaders of both the free and less-than-free worlds, journalists have a low BS threshold and get down to business quickly. Continue reading
One of the most frequent questions I am asked as a public relations practitioner and as someone who talks frequently with entrepreneurs and small business owners is: “Why should a start-up like mine use PR?” Or: “What value would PR give a small business like mine?”
Those are certainly fair questions. After all, like any good professional service, PR offers many beneficial services, resources, expertise, counsel and value, and yes, that does cost a pretty penny. (Hopefully, a penny most businesses find valuable.)
Before answering that question, though, I like to ask the CEO: “Well, what is your business’ story? What’s unique about you and your company/service/product?” Continue reading
I have been reading a lot lately. Really, way more reading than I was doing in previous months. From the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times on the weekend, to amNY and Metro weekdays, and a slew of business and advertising trades in between, I have been trying to immerse myself in two of the professional areas I have the most passion in: small business and media.
Despite the fact that many of the publications that I have been reading have their own unique audience (For anyone who hasn’t done it yet, check out FT Weekend. Honestly, one of the best papers you will read.), the underlying fact of the matter is that each and every one of them tries to do the same thing at the end of the day: tell its readers great stories in a compelling medium that they enjoy. Continue reading