Public Relations

Sometimes the Media Create the PR Nightmare

Initially, I fell for it. I blame headline writers. A driverless electric shuttle bus debuted in downtown Las Vegas on Wednesday and was involved in an accident within hours. I’m certain this isn’t the kind of publicity that AAA and Keolis were chasing when they launched the shuttle. I assumed the shuttle was at fault, and I know I wasn’t alone. Television news outlets teased the story in a way that seemed to imply the driverless shuttle was to blame.  Other media outlets were no better: Fox News- Self-driving shuttle crashes in Las Vegas hours after launch BBC News- Self-driving shuttle bus in crash on first day News 3 in Las...

Read more

Was the Mistake at the Oscars a Publicity Stunt?

Photo courtesy of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. It was a PR nightmare of Miss Universe proportions. Faye Dunaway & Warren Beatty erroneously announced “La La Land” instead of “Moonlight” as the winner of the Best Picture at the 89th Academy Awards Sunday night. It wasn’t their fault. Organizers provided the wrong information. Price Waterhouse Coopers, the official accountant of the Oscars, released this statement today: We sincerely apologize to “Moonlight,” “La La Land,” Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award...

Read more

Businesses: Keep Politics Off Your Social Media Platforms. Or Don’t??

Whether or not you support him, you must admit this election cycle has seen no shortage of cringe-worthy moments related to Donald Trump. He has said and done countless things that fly in the face of what any campaign strategist or public relations professional would have recommended, and he has survived them all. In fact, it could be argued that many times, his actions have endeared him to his supporters even more. Now it appears the Teflon protection from negative consequences Trump has enjoyed is extended to at least one of his supporters. Grand Rapids pizzeria owner Doug Fricano took to his business’s Facebook page Oct. 22 to share...

Read more

How Social Media Helps You Listen to Your Customers

Recently I showed you how not to respond to negative reviews on social media. Today, let’s look at how negative comments on social media can help you ensure you’re consistently giving your customers what they want. Chick-fil-A thought it was doing a good thing when it changed its barbecue sauce to a smokehouse-style flavor in July. Comments, social media posts and even petitions rolled in, forming an all-out grassroots campaign to #BringBacktheBBQ, Chick-fil-A  stated. The company listened to those complaints. Additionally, they let their customers know they heard them loud and clear by creating this cute...

Read more

Trump’s hot mic isn’t a PR nightmare; it should be a nuclear bomb

The Washington Post dropped a public relations nuclear bomb on Donald Trump Friday. The Back Story An Access Hollywood producer unearthed taped comments made in 2005 between Donald Trump and Billy Bush while Trump’s mic was hot. Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold obtained a copy of it and published a story Friday afternoon. In the video, Trump said some atrocious things about how he sexually assaults women. Watching the video gives me the urge to go all MST3K or director’s cut movie version, because there are so many shockingly offensive comments made in three minutes’ time, you must press pause to react and avoid...

Read more

Branding Lessons from Chick Fil A & Starbucks

So many conversations about branding are happening in my public relations circles lately. There are two recent examples of branding that have interested me: Chick Fil A’s “cell phone coop” promotion, and the customer feedback that has resulted from the recent Starbucks announcement that its rewards program will change in April. Those were the discussion topics on this week’s edition of Lorrie’s Stories on Mayhem in the Am. I broadcast this segment live on Periscope each Monday at 7:40 a.m. Eastern time. Now I’m capturing those Periscope videos and sharing them on my YouTube channel. My channel is where I...

Read more

Starbucks handles complaints well

Starbucks is changing its Gold Member rewards calculations in April 2016, and many customers aren’t happy with the changes because they’ll have to spend more money to earn free drinks and food items. We discussed this news on my Lorrie’s Stories segment on Monday, Feb. 29, and you can watch the video below, which was pulled from my Periscope broadcast of the segment. Here’s the takeaway for small businesses: making changes to customer rewards programs may please some and anger others. The key is to communicate the changes well, and to be responsive to the complaints. Customers want to feel as though they’ve been...

Read more

What PR lessons can you learn from Ted Cruz’s former spokesman?

Editor’s note: In September 2015, I started doing a weekly segment called Lorrie’s Stories on Mayhem in the AM, a Lakeland radio talk show that airs live on 1430AM/96.7FM. My segment airs at about 7:40 a.m. ET every Monday morning. I Periscope the segment, and recently began saving the video so I could share it on my blog. This is the first video I’ve shared.    Ted Cruz asked his (now former) spokesman Rick Tyler to resign last week after Tyler shared a negative story about Marco Rubio that later was determined to be false. On today’s Lorrie’s Stories, I talked about why Tyler’s sharing of the story...

Read more

The WWE and NFL Had a Horrible Public Relations Week

This week saw a series of events that became the smackdown no one in World Wrestling Entertainment wanted to see play out. But perhaps the National Football League appreciated the distraction, because this week wasn’t one for their record books, either. Ryan Dilbert wrote a great bit on the WWE’s PR problems, which inspired my post today. Please check it out. Wrestling icon Hulk Hogan appeared on Good Morning America this week to apologize for his use of the n-word, which was captured on audio in 2006 or 2007. The WWE also fired wrestler Zahra Schreiber this week for pro-Nazi artwork she posted on her Instagram in 2012. WWE and NFL...

Read more

Think Like a Reporter to Get Media Coverage

Getting coverage for your business or organization isn’t always easy. But as a former reporter, I have some insight that can help you increase your chances of getting media coverage. Follow these tips to increase your success rate. 1. Cruise the news  Read the news every day – especially news related to your industry. Knowing what is being written in your industry gives you a chance to identify information holes. What AREN’T they covering that they should? When you can fill this news hole, you become a valuable asset to reporters who cover your industry. Cruising the news daily also teaches you who covers your beat so you can...

Read more