Death as a PR opportunity

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I got a pitch email the day after Kobe Bryant and his daughter died in a helicopter crash. It was from a PR person, offering me the opportunity to interview and get quotes from a trauma expert. I found it ghoulish and appalling. But it made me wonder: there is so much death and so … Continued

Slimeball PR/legal ethics: The Lisa Bloom letter to Harvey Weinstein

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Attorney Lisa Bloom, known for representing victims of sexual harassment, also proposed to work with Harvey Weinstein when the harassment accusations against him were just beginning. The new book She Said tells the inside story of what exactly went on during that time — and raises some challenging ethical questions. For the purposes of this … Continued

How to get that executive case study interview

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Business books include case studies and perspectives from executives. Executives live in impenetrable corporate fortresses. How can you get them to go on the record? I’ve already written about how to find the stories — through your own experience, existing vendor case studies, and news articles. So my starting point for this post is that … Continued

There are six PR people for every reporter. So change your strategy.

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Bloomberg reports that, according to the U.S. Census, as of 2018, there are 6.4 PR people for every journalist. Reporters will tell you what that means for their inboxes. Thousands of pitches falling on the floor. Constant pestering. And waste. So much waste. You can lament this trend (and the loss of media is a … Continued

Microsoft PR flubbed its cool endorsement of open source

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Microsoft made a huge announcement yesterday in support of Linux and Open Source. Its actions were startling. Its statements, not so much. There was plenty of news coverage. Here’s how Engadget described it: Microsoft open-sources 60,000 patents to help Linux avoid lawsuits The company as joined the Open Invention Network to keep Linux safe Microsoft … Continued

An analysis of Twitter’s screwup (with comments from Melissa Agnes)

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Twitter screwed up and wrote everybody’s passwords to a file in plaintext. Then (of course) they apologized. Can we do better with these apologies? And what’s the fallout from this incident? Here’s an analysis and a conversation with Crisis Communication expert Melissa Agnes, author of Crisis Ready. This is getting routine. And that’s the problem. At … Continued

United Airlines spin: awful “Basic Economy” means “more choice”

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United Airlines announced Basic Economy, a new class of travel that lets you pay less and suffer more. In their press release, it sounds like a win for travelers, but as a frequent traveler, I predict a very different outcome. And it raises a question: where are the limits of a PR person’s job of making … Continued

My publicity strategy: personal messages and the power of “No”

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Today, I’ll share some insight into how I do outreach to influencers . . . and the power and courtesy of the answer “No.” I am going to reveal how I’m doing publicity and how it feels. I’m doing most of my own publicity outreach for the new book. The publisher has a list, but … Continued