Crisis Communications Planning: PR Lessons from a Hurricane

Posted by Tracy Hartman

Sep 11, 2017 1:48:00 PM

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During late summer and early fall, it’s not unusual to hear about tropical depressions or tropical storms, which sometimes develop into full force hurricanes. These hurricanes vary in intensity from category 1 to category 5 (the most severe). It usually starts when a meteorologist forecasts some sort of “activity” on the weather maps as a potential risk in the coming days or weeks. And then, depending on how things develop to intensify or weaken the hurricane, the weather service can either announce a “hurricane watch” (meaning a hurricane is a possibility) or can elevate to a “hurricane warning” (a hurricane is expected).

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Topics: Public Relations

Bylined Articles 101: Why You Need to Start Writing Articles for the Media

Posted by Tracy Hartman

Aug 24, 2017 10:41:00 AM

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Stop promoting your brand and write something useful to your target.

This “new era” of content marketing, the effective way of providing helpful content that your target audience wants to consume, is really taking a page out of the book of PR best practices — namely the bylined article.

Think about it. The era of pushing out self-promotional content is passé. Content strategies now revolve around the premise that your target wants to read content that they WANT to read and is HELPFUL to their situation. And yet, PR professionals have been chugging along with this concept long before the term “inbound” was ever heard of with what we call “bylined articles”.

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Topics: Public Relations

What can we learn about reputation management from PWC’s Oscar Snafu?

Posted by Tracy Hartman

Mar 7, 2017 11:43:45 AM

The Winner Is... Oscar_Snafu.jpegWhere were you when the Oscars Best Picture goof up occurred? I personally didn’t see it live, but it was just as impactful and horrifying when I saw the clip the following morning on several media outlets. I know I wasn’t the only one to think “did that REALLY just happen?”

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Topics: Public Relations, Brand reputation

PR in Healthcare: Buckle up in 2017

Posted by Tracy Hartman

Jan 25, 2017 1:51:14 PM

ACA_repeal.jpgGet ready for a bumpy ride in 2017 when it comes to PR in the healthcare industry. One things for sure, it won’t be boring.

Top of mind is what companies are to do when it comes to the cloud of uncertainty surrounding what’s going to happen with the inevitable repeal of Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act. PR pros will have their work cut out for them to adapt and change and communicate revised messaging points as the new administration begins the process, filled with unknowns. 

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Topics: Public Relations

Healthcare’s looming PR crisis: Ransomware

Posted by Tracy Hartman

Apr 27, 2016 4:47:55 PM

Ransomware.jpgI have been a part of many PR crises in my day – ranging from one of the state’s largest Chapter 11 filings to a client that had an employee involved in DUI that injured the parties in the other vehicle. Plain and simple, crisis communication is a necessary evil in the world of PR. Crap happens, and you have to be prepared for it, otherwise you will find yourself in deeper trouble.

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Topics: Healthcare, Public Relations, Brand reputation

Content Controversy: Lessons from Lands’ End

Posted by Steve Snyder

Mar 24, 2016 2:58:43 PM

Lands-end.jpgEvery now and then (well let’s be honest, it’s pretty often actually), another iconic brand steps spectacularly into it and presents us with the opportunity to opine on the do’s and don’ts associated with brand loyalty. You know, that highly coveted characteristic where you’ve converted costly, desirable prospects into returning, tried-and-true customers whose only requirement is that you steadfastly delight them with your brand experiences.

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Topics: Brand Strategy, Content Development, Public Relations, Brand reputation

Sweet Potato Pies and the Power of Influencers

Posted by Tracy Hartman

Nov 18, 2015 8:45:00 AM

As Thanksgiving nears, the thought of a feast with turkey, stuffing and all the sides evokes a sense of warmth, family and togetherness. It’s also a day when you are more apt to leave room for those signature desserts. 

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Topics: Social Media, Public Relations

Das Scandal: Rebuilding VW's Brand Equity

Posted by Steve Snyder

Oct 1, 2015 9:06:46 AM

Volkswagen's Brand Equity Plummits Wooooosshhhh. That crescendo you’ve been hearing is the air deflating from Volkswagen’s formerly bouncy and beloved little tires, or brand if you will. Like Lindsay Lohan’s performance in a bad Herbie the Love Bug remake, the iconic brand – not to mention it’s stock value – has tanked virtually overnight, leaving more than 75 years of brand equity in the wreckage. The damage to the brand’s value as a corporate asset? Virtually incalculable.

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Topics: Brand Strategy, Public Relations

From Puppies to Date Rape: How to Tarnish Your Brand Real Fast

Posted by Tracy Hartman

May 4, 2015 8:30:00 AM

file000177357244Since I'm not a beer drinker, If I do pay attention to beer commercials, it's generally for the entertainment factor only. The Super Bowl is a good time to be entertained as the beer companies usually pull out all the stops.

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Topics: Public Relations, Brand reputation

What NOT To Do: 3 Crisis Communications Tips We Can Learn From the NFL

Posted by Tracy Hartman

Sep 24, 2014 11:01:36 AM

Football_DSC6711Sports fan or not, you’ve probably been living under a rock if you haven’t heard about the Ray Rice fiasco, or more pointedly, the NFL’s horrible handling of the issue. Not to mention some of the other indiscretions by other NFL players since Ray Rice’s story came to light.

To briefly recap, Ray Rice, who is (or was) a running back with the Baltimore Ravens, was initially caught on videotape dragging his unconscious then-fiancé (and now wife) out of a casino elevator in February. However, the real issue surrounding the incident is when a second video inside the elevator revealed how she became unconscious (as if it was a mystery!). Blurry and jumpy video reveals she and Ray hitting each other, ending with Ray’s blow to her that left her limp on the floor of the elevator.

This in and of itself is despicable for what it represents: domestic violence. There’s no disputing that. But when we take a look at how the NFL handled the overall situation, headed by commissioner Roger Goodell, it becomes a crisis communications chaotic mess. 

What was once a well-thought-of brand (for the most part), the NFL has definitely taken a blow over the past couple of weeks. 

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Topics: Public Relations