Among challenges the internet presents are wide dispersion of wacko conspiracy theories. Like this one. Chuck E. Cheese would no more reconstitute leftover pizza than an auto manufacturer would build cars from wrecks. Yet, a viral video made the claim and the company found itself in a crisis. PR practitioners must get weary of constantly monitoring the web for such stupidity, but it has to be done. There is no way to know when an allegation is going to surface nor where. The web requires vigilance and rapid response. The near immediate spread of false information worldwide is a downside to online communication. On the other hand, good news can travel as fast. There is no perfect communication system nor will there ever be.
It’s Valentine’s Day, which makes this a good day to share the love.
I’m very proud (and relieved) to announce my next book, Lifescale: How to Live a More Creative, Productive and Happy Life. I’m also beside myself to share that it’s available to pre-order as of today!
Lifescale was written to help you break free from distractions, sharpen your focus, spark creativity and unlock new possibilities as a result.
This is my eighth book but first non-business book. It’s not the book I set out to write. It’s the book I needed.
Here’s a bit of the back story…
As you may or may not know, it’s been over three years since my last book X: The Experience When Business Meets Design changed how we think about experiences and how to design them for a modern world. I had planned to follow it up over a year-and-a-half ago. Well, that
Opportunity, the Mars rover, was a PR feather in NASA's cap for 15 years. Now, it is dead. It was designed to last three months but it kept going and going and going for 28 miles and dozens of discoveries. Opportunity proved that a mobile instrument package could survive the harsh environment of another planet. It is a tribute to scientific engineering and NASA's leadership in outer space exploration. It answered the question of how one should build a robot that has to operate far from human control. It takes 10 minutes for messages to reach Mars from earth and the Martian day is not the same length. The scientists and engineers who monitored its progress for the 15 years were privileged to work with Opportunity. Now they will move onto other projects, but the history-making robot won't be forgotten.
Here is just another recall. There doesn't seem to be many PR implications to hauling vehicles back to the repair shop. Every car company does them: It is a cost of doing business. But, it makes one wonder what a company could say if it has few to no recalls for an extended period, say 10 years. One could boast of quality but not too loudly, and it would be dangerous. There is always a chance of a defect creeping into a truck or car in spite of rigorous testing and vetting. And, one cannot depend completely on suppliers. The Takata air bag recall was one of the largest in US history and was responsible for several deaths. Still, reducing recalls is good business for companies and consumers. However, It is not something one dare say much about.
Microsoft is engaged in a bit of odd PR. It is slamming one of its own new products in favor of another. In this case, it is the software package Office 2019 compared to subscription service Office 365. Both have word processing, spreadsheet, slide making and publishing offerings, but Office 365 is regularly updated and Office 2019 is not. Microsoft used to update its packaged products, but it isn't anymore because it wants you to move to the subscription service, which provides the company with a consistent revenue stream. So, it is making fun of its own software. Moreover, it has crippled Office 2019 by withholding some features it has incorporated into Office 365. It might be smart marketing but it is dumb PR. It is telling customers that if you buy Office 2019, you're a second class citizen in the company's eyes. Continue reading "Odd PR"
This HBR article gives advice on what to do when one makes a mistake. It reads like a PR text. One should take responsibility without ducking or blaming, address what needs to be done right now and share what you will do differently next time. It is transparency and an admission that no one is perfect. The fear an errant manager has is loss of respect from bosses and subordinates. There is a chance that one loses the capacity to lead if the mistake was bone-headed enough. On the other hand, acting with arrogance and denial only makes things worse and will compromise one's authority. The best practice is transparency, owning up and moving forward the best one can.
Customer experience (CX) is the sum of the all interactions a customer has with your business. It’s not enough to measure performance in any one moment. The customer doesn’t care about your individual operations. All they care about is how well they can reach their objective and how they feel along the way (and after). This is where most companies miss opportunities in CX. It’s not a tech or business strategy that can be simply defined by a framework.
True CX is a matter of perspective and empathy. It’s possessive. It’s theirs. It’s the customer’s experience, with an emphasis on the apostrophe. Their experiences become memories. Whether they’re good or bad, it’s what they remember that becomes your brand and what they recall or share with others in critical moments of truth. Anything that’s forgettable is also your brand.
When it comes to designing meaningful experiences, value is in
According to Crimson Hexagon’s 2019 US Consumer Trends Report, streaming services are trouncing cable. And what genres are people most keen on streaming? Documentaries are by far the most popular. And the least appealing? Romances — take that Outlander!
Remember Periscope, Twitter’s live video app? Not to be outdone by Instagram and Snapchat in offering live-streaming, “Periscope is rolling outa new feature . . . that allows up to three guests join a live stream from their phones. It's the first time the live-streaming app has supported a group feature, and though it's audio-only for now, the service says it plans to add group video in the near future.”
It seems that every new day brings with it another egregious self-inflicted crisis caused by racially and gender-insensitive marketers.
The most recent examples are the truly horrific gaffes committed by Adidas and Gucci, respectively;
How could anyone think this was okay?
“There are somethings that just don’t make sense in life; Adidas celebrating black history month with this shoe is one example”
While the in-house marketing team and agency partners are unquestionably at fault for their lack of social awareness, I think the real genesis of these blunders lies with the designers and engineers.
These are the uber cool and uber insulated types who are constantly trying to come up with the hippest, sleekest and most cutting-edge sneakers, sweaters and widgets.
Having worked with designers and engineers alike, I know they live within their own ivory towers. They obsess over trends, technology and ease-of-use, but are oblivious to the
The current sense of alienation finds us alone in a crowd, both in the city and with social media. Our sense of self is exacerbated, a brilliant signal in a vast barren field of noise… When we are in the world, surrounded by crowds (and that person taking an over-contrived selfie to add to the digital noise) we feel
Google is winding up its broadband operations in Louisville and leaving town. The fast-fiber installation there was faulty from the beginning and to repair it would cost too much. The company had shallow-trenched cabling two inches below ground but it wasn't enough. The wire kept getting exposed requiring more fixes. So, the company is pulling out while stating it has learned its lesson. Louisville is stuck, and it won't see recompense for legal bills it had spent to support Google's entrance. It's a humiliating defeat for the company which had bruited its efforts when it started. Currently, Google remains in 16 cities and it says it has no intention of abandoning them. One wonders if that is true.
Guest Post by Stuart McHenryWhen it comes to SEO and building links to your website you can’t just go willy nilly. At least not if you want the link building strategy to work. Google has gotten much more sophisticated over the years. And you shouldn’t jump on the latest link building or optimizing SEO fad because it very well may come bite you in the butt in the long run.
interviews with industry experts. The knowledge and tips which are given
can be extremely valuable to readers. There are tips and tricks to using this
strategy to build high-quality backlinks.
interview is complete start looking for industry blogs that frequently write
about experts or interview them – also you can look for outlets which put
together weekly roundup posts. If your interview is thorough enough and
adds value, there is a
The end game in bankruptcy is rarely pretty. Reputations have been ruined and the PR is bad, but when there is a chance to salvage a business, it might be worth trying. This is the position that Sears finds itself in at the moment. It is still teetering on the edge of liquidation. A judge will decide whether to take a bid to keep the stores open or to shut the company down. Employees are unhappy. Creditors want Sears to end. It's a question of who gets pennies on a dollar of debt owed. There isn't much communications can do in a situation like this. It is in the courts and phalanxes of lawyers represent dozens of interests. Sears is a shadow of what it was and may never be again. If it survives, it will take years to rebuild its reputation as a retailer.
As the fortune reads, “may you live in interesting times.” It’s both a blessing and a curse as interesting implies not only arousing curiosity or catching one’s attention, but also presenting challenging and enthralling opportunities and experiences. Well, we do live in interesting times and every day, I’m studying and living through new experiences and trends to learn, unlearn and grow. But interesting times doesn’t quite describe what’s happening today nor does it properly set expectations for what’s to come. We are wading in and headed toward deeply disruptive times…in every facet of our lives.
The truth is that there are things happening now and will in the future that are beyond our control. And, there are also things happening that we must aim to control.
What you do and what you’ve done, what you’ve learned and experienced and what you can and need to accomplish now and in
What happens when you strike a high profile partnership with a maker of counterfeit goods? Embarrassment and a PR gaffe. That's the position that Samsung finds itself in. It struck a deal in December with Supreme Italia, a Chinese maker of counterfeit Supreme skateboard fashion items. The internet exploded with ridicule and name calling. Samsung defended the transaction but saw it was getting nowhere. Now, two months later, it is walking away. This comes under the heading of "should have known." Did anyone check before signing? If so, what did they think they were getting away with? One hopes Samsung's PR department had nothing to do with it.
Senator Bernie Sanders is demanding to know why a drug that was once free is now costing patients $375,000 a year. He has put the pharmaceutical company, Catalyst, on the spot. The implication is that it is gouging patients for unmerited profit. There might be good reasons for the stunning increase in price, but Catalyst is in a bad PR position. Whatever it says will be measured against other drug makers who have relentlessly jacked prices of their medicines. None are looking good. Catalyst, to avoid a charge of gouging, needs strong proofs that the cost of making the Firdapse has escalated and the company can no longer afford to make it for free. That is a tall order. If the senator pursues the case, there will be more bad news. One wonders if the cost of the drug is worth it.
In the internet era, there is no burying of the past, even if an event occured long before the web. Witness the governor of Virginia who is battling to stay in office after racist photos showed up from a 1984 medical school year book. The media have now confirmed that other racist pictures are in the book although none show the governor. It reflects a period when offensive dress was considered in a spirit of fun and no one thought of the consequences. That attitude has changed dramatically. One wonders where the yearbook was stored that it did not surface until decades later, but no matter, it was discovered and its ugly photos have received international play. The governor says he is sorry and that is not him today, but his PR crisis is deep and likely to be long-lasting. He says he Continue reading "The Past Rises Up"
Now here’s some good news . . . so to speak. The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer reports that there has been a sizeable — and meaningful — increase in how many of us consume and amplify news on a regular basis. Whether as evidence of maturing news consumption habits, or abject fear of what partisan right-wing politics is doing to our world, it’s good to see we appear to be paying attention!
Giving a voice to the voiceless is a powerful thing to do. Without advocates, those unable to speak up or speak out, for themselves, all too easily become victims of others with more power, The voiceless can be misunderstood, evoke negative feelings and be subject to negative behaviours. New York based Sophie Gamand uses her...