leadership


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September 15, 2015

PR, Too, Can Do Well By Doing Good: Edelman’s Climate Decision

by: in: Crenshaw Communications, imPRessions, leadership, reputation

The world’s largest PR agency has learned a lesson in the power of public pressure to force corporate policy. After months of waffling on the issue, Edelman yesterday told the Guardian that it would end work for coal producers and groups who deny climate change. The move is particularly interesting because Edelman holds itself up…
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July 19, 2014

Is There A Good Way To Break Bad News?

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

It can fall to PR specialists or other professional communicators to deliver information that will surely spark anger and resentment, not to mention negative media coverage and potential community impact. As an internal email explaining a planned workforce reduction by Microsoft recently showed, it’s not easy to deliver bad news. In the Microsoft case, a…
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April 27, 2014

The Art and Science Of A PR Plan

by: in: Crenshaw Communications, leadership, PR Fish Bowl, public relations

In creating a sound, results-driven plan for a B2B or consumer PR client, start by thinking strategically about initiatives and programs that you can deliver on tactically. Planning, while not as sexy or exciting as execution, is vital to delivery of client communication goals and objectives. Working from the same plan also smoothes client and…
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March 16, 2014

Whatever Happened To The Big Technology PR Launch?

by: in: celebrity, imPRessions, leadership, social media

Some former colleagues in tech PR and I were talking recently about the “good old days” when nearly every tech launch included a splashy press conference. Maybe it wasn’t as theatrical as Steve Jobs taking the stage at MacWorld, but it was entertainment, complete with a dramatic unveil, executive presentations, and striking models who would help…
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August 20, 2013

How To Be A Thought Leader (A PR Perspective)

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

Becoming a thought leader—everyone’s always talking about it, but who’s really doing it?  It’s a cliché in PR and marketing circles.  We tend to promise clients we can help make them a thought leader, pepper our proposals with the term, and invoke “thought capital” to differentiate corporations and their most marketable attributes. So, what is…
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May 21, 2012

Jamie Dimon’s Apology Tour: Is It Enough?

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

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s apology to shareholders last week managed to fulfill at least three prerequisites for a public mea culpa. It was swift, it was direct, and the CEO took responsibility for the bank’s $3 billion trading loss in a hedge gone wrong. Dimon used words like “egregious,” “sloppy,” “stupid,” and “self-inflicted.”…
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May 14, 2012

Crisis Management: When The Crisis Is The CEO

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

  It’s hard out there for a CEO. Recently, we witnessed a week’s worth of drip-drip-drip coverage about Yahoo chief Scott Thompson’s resume. The gaffe culminated in Thompson’s resignation after only four months on the job. But the controversy, on the surface, wasn’t about whether he’d faked an advanced degree, or falsely claimed Ivy League…
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November 3, 2011

Does Matt Lauer Hate PR?

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

People in PR-agency-land are getting steamed this week about our industry’s reputation. Again. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz appeared on the NBC-TV’s “Today” to talk about his jobs creation fund, which will raise cash for micro-loans to small businesses, and host Matt Lauer was less than gracious. Lauer allowed Schultz to outline the program, but he seemed…
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August 17, 2011

Are Executive Vacations Bad PR?

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

As President Obama parks his sleek tour bus (dubbed “Bus Force One”) and travels to Martha’s Vineyard for a little R&R this week, the predictable criticism has followed. Some question whether our chief executive should be taking time off amidst stock market volatility, a “crisis” economy, and dropping poll numbers. Chief among the President’s critics, of…
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January 19, 2011

Tucson and The Power of Metaphors

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

When, in the aftermath of the Tucscon tragedy, some linked it to Sarah Palin’s gun sight map, I was actually irritated. Any attempt to politicize what happened is revolting, and it seemed like a red herring at best. (In my book, images don’t kill people, semiautomatic weapons kill people. But this blog is about communications.) We use…
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November 3, 2010

PR Lessons From The 2010 Election

by: in: branding, communications, Crenshaw Communications, leadership, marketing, public relations

No matter how you feel about the results of the 2010 midterms, it’s been an interesting election season. Start with a stagnant economy, add a soured electorate, pour on the tea party activists, and it’s a bitter brew, at least for incumbents. The election also offers lessons for communicators. Here’s what marketing and PR pros…
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October 13, 2010

Crisis Management: Lessons From The Chilean Mine Rescue

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, leadership, public relations, social media

As the world watched, the government of Chile showed not only leadership, but remarkable PR and communications savvy as it sought to free 33 miners trapped underground for over two months. Its handling of the ordeal was like a mirror image of the BP disaster. Here are some crisis management learnings we can unearth from…
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August 19, 2010

Did HP Get Bad PR Advice?

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

A seat at the table. That’s how those of us in PR often put it when we talk about the role of public relations counsel in the corporate suite. Since the PR function is easily misunderstood, marginalized, or reduced to tactics, it’s a popular topic in professional circles. We want that seat, and we applaud signs…
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June 17, 2010

What PR People Can Learn From BP

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

Let’s get one thing straight. The Gulf Oil spill isn’t a PR problem. It’s an environmental disaster that no PR team, no matter how skilled, could clean up. The public relations crisis comes with BP’s lack of preparedness for the gusher, and with the communications in its wake. But, all calamities offer learnings. What lessons can we extract from…
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May 9, 2010

Disaster Branding: How BP’s Green PR Backfired

by: in: branding, communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, leadership, public relations, reputation, social media

Quick, which company was responsible for the catastrophic natural gas leak in Bhopal, India, the worst industrial accident in modern history? What about the corporation that created the infamous toxic brew known as Love Canal in Niagara Falls, New York? Man-made disasters are usually named, and remembered, for their locations. That won’t be true in the case of the recent…
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September 17, 2009

Will Healthcare Damage Brand Obama?

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

      In “Mad Men”‘s season debut, fictional ad man Don Draper quietly advises a colleague, “Limit your exposure.” It’s actually an oblique reference to his associate’s indiscretion (and his own secret past), but I thought of Draper’s advice today in a different context. I’ve finally joined the ranks of those who fear that President Obama may…
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August 21, 2009

Whole Foods, Healthcare, And The "S-Word"

by: in: Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, leadership, public relations, reputation

Partly because it’s in my building, but also because I like and admire the company, I feel bad when Whole Foods is attacked. I’m referring to CEO John Mackey’s Wall Street Journal editorial that has many customers threatening to hang up their reusable shopping bags for good. The piece, which essentially argued for fiscal restraint and individual empowerment, has…
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June 29, 2009

PR Means Having To Say You’re Sorry

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

The sad and sudden demise of pop superstar Michael Jackson may have knocked Governor Mark Sanford off the front pages for a weekend, but it didn’t let him off the hook. Governor Sanford’s may have been the most ill-conceived and badly delivered apology of the decade. And, that’s saying something.  I was one of several PR…
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May 22, 2009

Partnership Unlimited

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

Spending  time at the international meeting of our sister consultancies (www.proi.org) has given me the chance to catch up with colleagues, commiserate about the economy, and share insights about trends affecting our business.  The caliber of the firms in our global partnership is extraordinarily high, and the discussions have been both passionate and eye-opening.  It also…
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May 18, 2009

Can’t Beat ‘Em? Re-Brand ‘Em!

by: in: branding, Crenshaw Communications, leadership

  Words are important. That’s why it’s not just the swine flu virus that’s gotten a nifty new government-issue name. Washington is in a frenzy of rebranding. The Obama administration has rejected the Bush-era “global war on terror” in favor of the more oblique “overseas contingency operation.” In a particularly awkward phrasing, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano calls…
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February 23, 2009

Truth and Consequences

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, leadership

Transparency and honesty are good things, right?  They build trust, and trust engenders loyalty.  But, here’s a dilemma.  What happens when telling the truth makes the situation worse? Case in point:  President Obama cautions that a full economic recovery could take years, and the market shudders.  Senator Dodd refers to bank nationalization, which most experts believe…
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January 26, 2009

Bullish on the Ox?

by: in: Crenshaw Communications, leadership

Today is the start of the lunar Year of the Ox.  In Asian astrology, the ox symbolizes calm, hard work, resolve, and tenacity, which seem like reassuring symbols.  Chinese astrologists, however, are predicting a tough year.  In fact, according to an Associated Press report prominent Asian soothsayers say newly elected US President Barack Obama will…
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