Communicators: Tell management what can’t be communicated

Communicators have to stop being hired guns

In Hollywood Westerns, the hired gun is called in to clean up the town after problems have spun out of control. (The problems usually involve a cattle baron.) More often than not, communicators are the hired guns of business. Unless they have that coveted “seat at the table,” they are never part of the decisions they’ll wind up having to communicate. Even then, leaders often make misguided decisions and think the communications team can spin gold from them.

This hired-gun mentality is a key reason for PR’s reputation as spin doctors. The expectation from leadership: “We screwed up. Make it sound okay.”

In today’s environment, that… Read More »

Friday Wrap #184: Conflating PR and lobbying, reporters’ pitch preferences, PR’s data woes, and more

Friday Wrap #184The Friday Wrap is my weekly collection of news stories, posts, studies, and reports designed to help organizational communicators stay current on the trends and technology that affect their jobs. These may be items that flew under the radar while other stories grabbed big headlines. As always, I collect material from which I select Wrap stories (as well as stories to report on the For Immediate Release podcast, along with stuff I just want to remember to read) on my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow. If you want to make sure you never miss an edition of the Wrap, subscribe to my weekly email newsletter.

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New York wants… Read More »

Communicators need to get familiar with blockchain technology

Blockchain: PR's latest technology frontier

Why don’t most producers of goods sell directly to customers? There are no Whirlpool stores. If you want a Whirlpool refrigerator, you go to Sears or some other retailer that sells appliances. Even if you visit the Whirlpool website, you will find that each product listing comes with a “Where to Buy” button.

Whirlpool is not in the direct sales business. Managing all those consumer transactions is not a Whirlpool competency. It is easier to be a wholesaler, selling in bulk to retailers whose whole business model is based on consumer sales and the complex chain of financial transactions that go with it. The Internet made e-commerce… Read More »

Friday Wrap #185: A growing social media skills gap, lower engagement in bigger companies, and more

Friday Wrap #185The Friday Wrap is my weekly collection of news stories, posts, studies, and reports designed to help organizational communicators stay current on the trends and technology that affect their jobs. These may be items that flew under the radar while other stories grabbed big headlines. As always, I collect material from which I select Wrap stories (as well as stories to report on the For Immediate Release podcast, along with stuff I just want to remember to read) on my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow. If you want to make sure you never miss an edition of the Wrap, subscribe to my weekly email newsletter.

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Facebook’s live… Read More »

Let’s kill the front group

Let's kill the front group (image of fingers crossed behind back)Public relations practitioners have, for decades, wearily accepted cynicism about our industry. We are spinmeisters. We help companies get away with doing the wrong thing. We put lipstick on pigs, deflect attention from problems, we piss off the journalists we rely on, we spam the web with non-news…

The criticisms and complaints aimed at PR are endless.

Part of the problem is visibility. Bad PR gets called out. Good PR is invisible. There is far more good PR going on than bad, but nobody is aware that what they’re seeing was conceived and crafted by a public relations specialist. But much of the negative perception people have of PR… Read More »

Friday Wrap #178: Traffic from Facebook tumbles, Twitter hearts gain favor, Snapchat videos surge

Friday Wrap #178The Friday Wrap is my weekly collection of news stories, posts, studies, and reports designed to help organizational communicators stay current on the trends and technology that affect their jobs. These may be items that flew under the radar while other stories grabbed big headlines. As always, I collect material from which I select Wrap stories (as well as stories to report on the For Immediate Release podcast, along with stuff I just want to remember to read) on my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow.

News

Something’s wrong at Facebook—While Facebook continues to grow its user base and active daily visits, something is… Read More »

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