The Right Way for Companies to Publicize Their Social Responsibility Efforts

It’s a common complaint. Companies keep trying to show the world that they are socially conscious and keep losing the battle. A major reason companies don’t get credit for their good works is they employ a one-size-fits-all strategy to communicating their efforts, while what’s needed are focused messages that matter to each of their four different audiences:

  1. Corporate watchdogs such as social media activists, NGOs,

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The Best PR Advice You’ve Never Heard – from Facebook’s Head of Tech Communications

Most founders set out to create something iconic but don’t know where to start. At First Round’s recent CEO Summit, Caryn Marooney, Head of Technology Communications for Facebook, boiled down this massive challenge into an execution plan and guidelines for startups to craft an image that will resonate with the public and the press, launch on a strong note, and build momentum as they grow … [ Read more ]

Pete Kazanjy

If you can internalize one thing in [the PR] process, it’s that the journalist is your customer. They are busy, overworked, with deadlines, and lots of irrelevant dogshit pitches crufting up their inbox. And they have their own constituencies to please (their readers, their editors). This is why this is B2B sales: you’re selling them on something that is going to make them successful at … [ Read more ]

Pitching Practice: Public Relations Launch Checklist for Early Stage Startup Founders

I get a lot of people asking me about PR, and how to achieve coverage, especially around a launch or announcement.

At the end of the day, it’s not a big mystery. It’s a B2B sales campaign, where you have a qualified, relevant list of targets (media list), a means by which to reach them (email addresses), a coherent argument for why what you’re doing is … [ Read more ]

Nestlé’s Half-Billion-Dollar Noodle Debacle in India

Nestlé spent three decades building a beloved noodle brand in India. Then the world’s biggest food and beverage company stumbled into a public relations debacle that cost it half a billion dollars. A cautionary tale of mangled crisis management on an epic scale.

John Danner

Most businesses rehearse their response to a calamity of some sort. Almost everyone, for example, conducts fire drills. Many test their business continuity contingency plans. The problem is that most organizations do not rehearse for the real threats that are most likely to have a significant impact on the business. How many companies run a drill for a product launch failure? Or an M&A bomb? … [ Read more ]

Andy Grove

Bad companies are destroyed by crisis. Good companies survive them. Great companies are improved by them.

Dick Martin

Public relations has two roles: advocacy and counsel. Counsel usually takes a backseat to advocacy, which always seems more urgent at the moment. But effective counsel can make advocacy less critical. Many CEOs look for good writing from their PR counselors because that’s the stuff of advocacy. What they should be looking for is good thinking, which is the foundation of effective counsel.

Harold Burson

PR is an applied social science focused on two things: behavior and communications. The big problem these days is that we spend too much time on communication and not enough on behavior, and that’s why the public distrusts our institutions so much.

Dr. Peter Fuda

Next time you find yourself in a crisis moment, ask this question: what is the best outcome from here? Firstly, those around you will likely go into shock. We are not used to hearing an intelligent, helpful question in a crisis situation. Once they get over their shock, it will work for three reasons: It assumes that there actually is an outcome; It focuses everybody … [ Read more ]

BP and Public Issues (Mis)Management

BP’s horrible missteps after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded were almost predictable, given the culture of deceit and arrogance that executive actions had encouraged. While the accident could have been prevented, BP might have avoided its intense and deserved public flogging if only it had respected the best practices for managing a crisis – and for managing. Readers of this article will learn what BP … [ Read more ]

How To Get Media Coverage For Your Startup: A Complete Guide

Leo Widrich, co-founder of Buffer, shares his experiences with getting media coverage for a startup, though much of the advice is useful for any stage of corporate life.

10 Questions To Ask A PR Firm Before Signing A Contract

Think about the last great article you read. The piece may have mentioned a few products or companies—possibly prompting you to research them in more depth. Chances are, a public relations firm was behind that placement.

Editorial placements can turn into big business for companies of any size, giving organizations a credibility lacking in traditional advertisements.

If you’re looking for a PR firm, here are 10 questions … [ Read more ]

How to Capture Your Company’s Essence in 15 Words

Use the principles in this article to tighten and fine-tune your company description, and test it with prospects. See what they conclude about which problems you solve and for whom. When they answer correctly, you’ll know you hit the nail on the head.

The Science of Spin

Communications consultant Alan Kelly has spent the past several years analyzing the various PR moves employed by companies, politicians, and executives. He has created an interactive table of PR “plays”or moves.

Matt Miller

In a crisis there’s a search for pragmatic answers and a sense that ideology is a luxury.

Jason Calacanis On How To Get PR For Your Startup: Fire Your PR Company

For over 10 years Jason Calacanis (founder of Silicon Alley Reporter, Weblogs, and Mahalo) has been the subject of many new stories. He’s also been a reporter on the other side of the table. As a result, he feels that he has learned a lot about how the PR and the press works–especially in the technology business. His philosophy of PR is summed up in … [ Read more ]

David J. Snowden and Mary E. Boone

Unfortunately, most leadership “recipes” arise from examples of good crisis management. This is a mistake, and not only because chaotic situations are mercifully rare…Indeed, a specific danger for leaders following a crisis is that some of them become less successful when the context shifts because they are not able to switch styles to match it.

Moreover, leaders who are highly successful in chaotic contexts can develop … [ Read more ]

Handling Media Inquiries

Effectively fielding questions from the press can really help your organization boost its public image, while failing to cooperate can sometimes be disastrous. Before the journalists come calling, develop a strategy for how you will handle media inquires.