imPRessions

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April 30, 2009

Branding A Pandemic or "Aporkalypse Now"

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

The media buzz surrounding the influenza virus formerly known as swine flu has resulted in an epidemic of both controversy and criticism.  Is it overkill? Many think so. But over the past 24 hours, the PR offensive around the flu hasn’t been about prevention or panic…it’s about the virus’s brand.  As of yesterday, the World…
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April 27, 2009

Can Craigslist Limit the Damage?

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

  We’ve seen all kinds of business crises in the past several weeks, from the #Amazonfail glitch that took over Twitter to the Domino’s Pizza social media storm.  But, from a PR perspective, it doesn’t get much worse than having your brand be the descriptor for a horrifying crime. Yes, it’s happened before to Craigslist, and…
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April 26, 2009

Facebook Tears Down the Wall

by: in: Crenshaw Communications, social media

At over 200 million monthly users, Facebook is vastly more popular than Twitter, but the micro-blogging service seems to be a growing public and media obsession.  Even Twitter-hater Maureen Dowd recently penned an interview with its co-founder, which, while ostensibly satirical, only fanned a Twitstorm of interest.  Remember when Facebook drew that kind of love-hate?…
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April 22, 2009

Staying Green When You're in the Red

by: in: Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, reputation

  For the past several years, just before Earth Day, we’ve done a survey on behalf of Call2Recycle, a battery and product collection and recycling program, about “green guilt,” a term we coined that’s pretty self-explanatory. Green guilt is what you feel when you toss your soda can into the regular garbage, or shove that once-trendy-but-now-obsolete…
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April 20, 2009

Ford Throws A Social Media Fiesta

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

At last, some good news from Detroit…or at least, an interesting move in which the words “bailout” and “bankruptcy” have no place. Ford recently announced that it will offer Fiesta subcompact cars to 100 Web types – bloggers, Twitter rockstars,  and social media influencers – for six months.  The lucky 100 will receive car insurance and gas, so they can test-drive the Fiestas…
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April 17, 2009

Following Oprah

by: in: celebrity, Crenshaw Communications, social media

    She’s arguably the most influential figure in our culture next to the President…except, wait, she picked our President, right?  Seriously, the social media world is atwitter after the announcement that Oprah will make her first Tweet Friday on her show.  Only @Oprah, the Queen of Everything, could rack up over 40,000 followers before posting a…
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April 16, 2009

When Bad Things Happen To Good Brands

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, reputation, social media

  Too often, a company’s own failings can put its brand at risk.  But, as the world knows, sometimes — well, stuff just happens.  Earlier this week, Domino’s Pizza found itself facing a brand reputation crisis when two North Carolina store employees videotaped themselves doing disgusting things to food and placed the video on YouTube…
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April 13, 2009

Amazon Turns Up the Gay-dar?

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications, crisis management, reputation, social media

  Last week a friend joked that, based on her Caucasian husband’s onetime purchase of a novel by bestselling author Toni Morrison as a gift on amazon.com, the site now “thinks he’s an African-American lesbian,” and we had a laugh about the advantages (and drawbacks) of collaborative filtering software.   So, I was unaware of the furor surrounding an apparent change…
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April 10, 2009

The Label Made Me Do It

by: in: communications, Crenshaw Communications

    As someone who’s spent years working on behalf of food and health brands, I understand the critical need for solid communication about the nutritional value – or lack of it – in food products, particularly convenience or fast foods. But, when I read about lawsuits against food companies filling up the court dockets, as…
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April 4, 2009

Last Night A Twitter Saved A Life

by: in: celebrity, Crenshaw Communications, social media

The social media thing can seem frivolous at times…after all, we’re not talking about saving lives, right?  Wrong.  Yesterday, actress and celebrity Twitterati Demi Moore reportedly helped stop a possible suicide attempt by a woman who tweeted her intent to cut her arm to kill herself. (I admit I follow mrskutcher, and even saw the comment in question, but…
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April 2, 2009

Manic Recession

by: in: Crenshaw Communications

I’m fascinated by some of the words and expressions that have been coined by what some PR types (like me) have euphemistically called the recent “downturn.”   My favorites are “chiconomics” and “recessionista,” since it’s fun and consoling to think you can stay stylish while being frugal.  But after reading Maureen Dowd’s editorial earlier in the week,…
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March 29, 2009

The New Home Economics

by: in: Crenshaw Communications

The flip side to the dismal economy, of course, is that it forces us to live within our means, and, if we’re lucky, to appreciate simple enjoyments as if they’re something new.  That’s why I’m interested in the plethora of articles about the newest old trend, which is our national enthusiasm for socializing, cooking, dining,…
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February 28, 2009

Newspaper 2.0?

by: in: Crenshaw Communications, technology

Friday’s report that Hearst will launch a wireless e-reader for magazines and newspapers, similar to Amazon’s Kindle, is deeply encouraging news for those of us who hope that reports of the death of traditional media are exaggerated. It’s a risky venture, to be sure; hardware is a completely different business from content, and not all…
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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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February 18, 2009

Frugal is the New Black

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

Last night I had dinner with an old friend who does stock market analysis, and our conversation around the economy was pretty much “an orgy of pessimism,”  in the words of Philippe Daumann. But, enough about that. The more interesting part of the discussion was about “the new frugal.”  My friend feels that no marketers have yet managed to align…
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February 12, 2009

Random Thoughts In Defense of "25 Things"

by: in: social media, technology

Given the backlash, it’s hard to admit that I can’t get enough of “25 Random Things About Me,” the annoying, addictive chain-letter-cum-confessional that got started on Facebook and now is taking over the world. Yes, it typifies what many don’t like about Facebook and Twitter — the over-sharing, time-sucking, sometimes self-indulgent posts, games, applications and invitations…
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February 9, 2009

A New Chapter

by: in: public relations

Today marks our official rebranding as Crenshaw Communications, and we couldn’t be prouder or more energized. Though we’ve all been working together at Stanton Crenshaw, our old firm, for many years, it’s exhilarating to launch a new brand and website. I’ve had my own PR business, in a partnership, for over a dozen years, so…
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February 4, 2009

Up in Smoke

by: in: celebrity

(photo by: Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated) It’s a shame that Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has taken a hit (so to speak) and lost a key endorsement over a few puffs of (illicit) smoke. But, there are more than a few lessons in his experience. For years, clients have asked us about the risks and benefits of…
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February 2, 2009

I Want My DTV…Now!

by: in: Crenshaw Communications, technology

But, it’s not happening. As everyone who follows the digital TV transition drama knows, the postponement is back on.  The House had overturned the Senate bill that would postpone the switch until June, but in yet another twist, the delay is expected to stand after a second House vote later this week.  Read more here….
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January 30, 2009

The "Massification" of the President

by: in: public relations

Never in history has the person occupying the Oval Office been so marketed, merchandised, packaged, promoted, and, well, exploited.  His theme of “change” was reduced to a cliche when adopted by so many marketers, and there’s been a bit of a media backlash against a slew of dubious Obama products.  (Even NBC’s “Today” Show devoted…
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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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January 21, 2009

Twitter and the Memphis Blues

by: in: public relations

First the Motrin Moms bring down an ad campaign, now an entire city’s a-Twitter over an ill-advised post!  The flap over the Ketchum executive who  used Twitter to insult Memphis, corporate headquarters of FedEx , which happens to be one of Ketchum’s larger clients (while on the way to deliver a presentation  to FedEx execs about…
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January 16, 2009

Working Women Hit A Milestone

by: in: imPRessions

In my New York Women in Communications discussion group, there’s been lots of talk about how and whether an economic downturn disproportionately affects women and minorities…particularly those of us in editorial, marketing or corporate communications, or advertising.  Though communications had undoubtedly been hit, there may be some good news for working women. It seems women…
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January 8, 2009

What Happens in Vegas….Seems Like Less Than Usual

by: in: technology

The Consumer Electronics Show, one of the most well-attended and splashy tech conferences on earth, is decidedly more subdued this year.  You don’t have to read the news and blog accounts to feel the difference.  On the one hand, it’s easier to get a taxi, a restaurant reservation, or show tickets.  It also seems to…
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