No matter what our endeavor, whether we are making mobile phones or enhancing the mobility of someone with a disability, we all seek to create value for those we serve.
Several years ago, a colleague asked me to do an informational interview with a young woman who was thinking about getting into public relations. Happy to do this as a favor to a helpful colleague, I met with the young woman on a Saturday, answered her questions, and gave her the names of a few others to contact. I never heard from her again.
If asked, most executives will say that clear, compelling and effective communications is essential to the success of their enterprise. The reality is that this is an area where so many organizations fall short.
Now is the season of resolutions, the promises that we will make to do better. As PR and communications professionals, I hope we will all resolve not to do stupid PR, the cheap tricks in order to get attention for our clients.
In the past month, the headlines have been filled with companies, politicians and companies facing crisis communications issues large and small. While ObamaCare tops most of the news, it isn't the only thing facing harsh criticism
This headline PR Woes: When Access Isn’t Worth It on a recent post on Media Bistro’s Fishbowl DC was too compelling to resist. Contributing writer Eddie Scarry was lamenting the demise of a connection between a publicist who invited him to a screening of The Paperboy and then told him he would be banned from future screenings because Scarry had written negatively about the film. The publicist’s action raised his hackles and mine as well.
Public relations is all of those things but I would frame it a little differently. To me, the best public relations is simply this: starting and nurturing ongoing conversations between an organization or company and the various stakeholders and audiences it needs to engage to thrive and grow.
There is not much I can say more about the Susan G. Komen Foundation debacle that hasn’t already been said. They stepped in it and were unprepared for the push back and fall out. But at the core of this mess is that Komen lost sight of what they were all about. And that was why there was such an outcry. In the Twitter and Facebook age, that outcry was immediate and fast, causing a public relations firestorm so hot that Komen had to reverse its decision about withdrawing funds from breast screenings at Planned Parenthood, so as not to be consumed by it.
Last Thursday was Earth Day and there were the usual wonderful and less wonderful actions on the part of marketers, nonprofits and corporations to get in on the celebration by aligning and promoting their brand. Nancy Schwartz highlighted a number of great nonprofit efforts. On the commercial side, Leslie Kaufman wrote a piece for the New York Times about Earth Day now being big business.