advertising

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October 7, 2014

What PR People Should Know About Advertising Week

by: in: advertising, Crenshaw Communications, imPRessions, public relations

Despite the ad-tech buzzwords and marathon-like scheduling, Advertising Week is an upbeat and insightful event for PR professionals. Yes, the jargon is a killer – and in the manner of German compound words, it’s all starting to combine, as in “programmatic premium direct” and “mobile native.” But what can PR professionals learn from the weeklong…
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1
June 12, 2013

When Brands Overreact To PR Problems

by: in: advertising, Crenshaw Communications, imPRessions, public relations, reputation

Social-media-fueled brand controversies are more common than ever in the digital age. But even in the current crisis-of-the-hour media environment, it’s natural for major brands to take slights very seriously. Where millions of dollars are spent and fat profit margins are at stake, overreactions are understandable. You can almost sense the confusion, conflicting advice, and…
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0
May 20, 2013

PR Myths and Facts for Marketers

by: in: advertising, communications, Crenshaw Communications, imPRessions, public relations

A favorite former client calls PR “the cheapest form of advertising.” Not really. But his comment shows that, even among sophisticated marketers, misconceptions about PR and what we do for clients are still prevalent. These are the top seven myths that persist about public relations, and a perspective on each. 1. PR is advertising lite. Not…
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1
February 4, 2013

Marketers Jump on Super Bowl Blackout in PR Score

by: in: advertising, branding, Crenshaw Communications, imPRessions, public relations, social media

The first half of Super Bowl 2013 was a yawn, at least for football fans. For brand-watchers, the commercials were respectable, and a few even stood out. (My favorite was Amy Poehler at Best Buy.) But the game changer on Sunday was the unprecedented 34-minute power failure that left the players frustrated, the announcers in…
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January 28, 2013

Why Subway’s Apology PR Fell Short

by: in: advertising, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, imPRessions, public relations, reputation, social media

Maybe because I’m reading John Kenney’s excellent novel, Truth in Advertising, I’ve been thinking a lot about authenticity in brand marketing. It’s one of those things that we take for granted when present, but that can be a time bomb when absent. Yet, when I first heard about the lawsuits served up against Subway for…
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March 7, 2012

What’s In A (Brand) Nickname?

by: in: advertising, branding, communications, Crenshaw Communications, imPRessions, public relations, reputation

Al Ries’ recent column in AdAge, “When It Comes To Names, Corporations Just Aren’t People” got me thinking about the PR of brand nicknames. Corporations may not be people, but their brands can get pretty darn close. That’s why “pet” names for products and companies can be powerful, from the classic shorthanders like Coke and…
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October 18, 2011

When A New Name Is Bad PR: A Rebranding Gone Sour

by: in: advertising, branding, Crenshaw Communications, imPRessions

A new name often brings a reputation lift – suggesting renewed relevance or sweetening an unpalatable handle. Which would you rather eat – Patagonian Tooth Fish or Chilean Sea Bass? But beware the rebranding for reputation reasons. It can make news, but not always in a good way. Right now, a bitter battle’s brewing over the…
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July 26, 2011

A Summer’s Eve Debate: Why ‘Offensive’ Ads Can Be Good

by: in: advertising, communications, creativity, Crenshaw Communications, imPRessions, public relations

Can men effectively market to women? Can whites sell to people of color? Sure. Yet, some recent ad campaigns make you wonder. The latest is for Summer’s Eve cleansing wash, and it’s definitely a fresh take on the “feminine products” category. Each of the three ads features a woman’s hand that is meant to be a…
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3
April 20, 2011

In PR Melodrama, Hoover Tries To Save The Soaps

by: in: advertising, communications, Crenshaw Communications, imPRessions, public relations, reputation

Cue the organ music… here’s the dirt. A top appliance brand is so steamed by the demise of ABC’s daytime serials that it’s yanked its advertising clean off the network. That’s right, in a move worthy of Erica Kane herself, Hoover announced that it won’t be advertising on ABC after Friday of this week. What’s more,…
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10
March 22, 2011

What Marketers Don’t Know About PR

by: in: advertising, branding, communications, Crenshaw Communications, imPRessions, marketing, public relations

Are we living through PR’s ”golden age”? Sometimes I think so. Clients understand the benefits of PR and are sophisticated about the tricky aspects, like trading perfect control for a measure of credibility. And budgets are opening up after the economic downturn. But other times I wonder. Last year a favorite client of mine refers to public relations…
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4
March 15, 2011

PR By Another Name: Public Relations and the “New” Competition

by: in: advertising, branding, communications, Crenshaw Communications, imPRessions, marketing, public relations

The chemistry was great, our experience perfect, and they loved the proposal. But, in a twist, the account went to a “digital brand management” shop whose website touts its ability to drive visibility and engagement. PR by another name? The “creative destruction of PR“? It’s true that social media has changed the game for our…
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March 2, 2011

What Good Public Relations Cannot Do

by: in: advertising, communications, Crenshaw Communications, marketing, public relations

Hearing about someone’s bad experience with a PR firm has a train-wreck kind of fascination for PR agency people. It’s painful to hear criticisms and generalizations about our business, but we can’t resist jumping in to diagnose the problem. That’s the case with our most recent public flogging, “The Trouble With PR,” which appeared in…
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5
February 15, 2011

Is Any PR Good PR?

by: in: advertising, communications, Crenshaw Communications, imPRessions, public relations, reputation

Of course not.  PR agency professionals have been preaching that for decades. No marketer in his right mind would recommend a strategy that involves offending customers, or demeaning the brand. But, think about some of the celebrated marketing gaffes of the past two weeks. Socially-conscious Super Bowl viewers were outraged at Groupon’s rookie commercial on…
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1
January 30, 2011

“Thanks For Suing Us!” Taco Bell Takes On “Beef-Gate”

by: in: advertising, communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, public relations, reputation

A California woman’s beef with Taco Bell over the ingredients in her taco served up an interesting crisis management case study last week. The food fight has turned into a class-action lawsuit alleging false advertising by the chain. The suit claims its tacos are only 36 percent beef, which, if true, means they wouldn’t even…
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January 25, 2011

Banned-Ad Gimmick Loses Super Bowl PR Points

by: in: advertising, branding, communications, Crenshaw Communications, public relations

As Super Bowl XLV approaches, marketing pundits are suiting up for the ad-stravaganza, but I’m naturally more interested in the PR Bowl. It’s a big part of the marketing investment, and it’s fun to watch brands try to score free media coverage weeks ahead of time. But, one much-practiced play that’s losing ground is the “banned” ad….
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November 2, 2010

Five Ways To Win The Big Pitch

by: in: advertising, communications, public relations

Guest post by Patricia Gibney A large, competitive agency search can be time-consuming and crazy-making for everyone. It helps when a search consultant is involved, but that happens less frequently in these days of tight budgets. Often the client is on its own — and frequently in unfamiliar territory. The result:  agency teams don’t have the…
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October 19, 2010

Trust And The Age Of Prank PR

by: in: advertising, communications, Crenshaw Communications, public relations

It seemed like a bold PR strategy and a decisive move toward corporate responsibility and transparency. Chevron Vice Chairman George L. Kirkland said. “We’ve got problems and challenges, and we too make mistakes, but we’re telling truths no one usually tells, and looking wide-eyed into the future.” Wow. Except he never said it, of course….
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September 7, 2010

How To Be Creative Under Pressure

by: in: advertising, communications, creativity, Crenshaw Communications, public relations

An episode of “Mad Men” featured Don Draper and Peggy Olson wrestling with a tough creative challenge – how to dream up a breakthrough campaign for Samsonite. Don dismisses a celebrity pitchman as a ”lazy” strategy, then criticizes Peggy’s next round of ideas as variations on a theme – a boring one. At Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, a booze-soaked all-nighter…
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September 1, 2010

Web of Lies: Astroturfing Threatens The PR Business

by: in: advertising, communications, Crenshaw Communications, public relations, reputation, social media

Astroturfing is like the underbelly of the PR business – large, hidden, and when it pops out, really ugly. A decade ago, that kind of  fake grassroots campaigning was at the edge of public relations, and it happened primarily in politics. Today, the rise of social media has put a new spin on astroturfing, with faux reviews…
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July 21, 2010

Who Should Own Social Media?

by: in: advertising, communications, creativity, Crenshaw Communications, public relations, social media

This week’s news that ad and PR behemoth Interpublic Group has launched Rally, a social media unit, has the industry buzzing. The launch gave fresh fodder to the old turf debate, spiced with speculation about infighting under a single corporate roof. EVP Heidi Browning says Rally won’t mean new competition for IPG-owned PR firms. Insiders say…
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April 26, 2010

Banned Ads Are A Robust PR Opportunity

by: in: advertising, communications, Crenshaw Communications, marketing, public relations, social media

It played out like a publicity stunt. Not one as blatant as the annual Super Bowl banned-ad PR-fest. But, at first it seemed a little, well, overblown. The sexy Lane Bryant lingerie commercial featuring curvy model Ashley Graham was rejected by both ABC and Fox for showing “too much cleavage” and being therefore too risque for the family…
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April 9, 2010

When Brands Try To Be Cool (Part 2)

by: in: advertising, branding, communications, creativity, Crenshaw Communications, marketing, public relations, technology

Brands trying to be cool is an obsession of mine, and I’ve noticed how they seem to come in clusters. The latest rash of high-stakes rebrandings is in cable and Internet services. In February, Comcast renamed its TV, Internet and phone services as Xfinity. The PR picture wasn’t pretty. Bloggers and branding experts pounced on…
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