Starbucks Race Together. Not

The coverup is worse than the crime. That is one of the foundational principles of reputation management. Starbuck’s “Race Together” campaign came to an abrupt end on Sunday – a few days after it was savaged in the Twitter-verse – to the point that the company’s Chief of Global Communications quit Twitter – temporarily. Howard Schultz said […]

Michael Bay – Lessons Learned

I face potential problems like the one experienced by Michael Bay constantly both doing brand-centric corporate video as a sideline gig, and as a public affairs talk show as a full time job. So as a media consultant and video producer, I am CONSTANTLY pitched on the idea of having the CEO or the big […]

Really Facebook? Autoplay?

So you know that setting your online videos to “autoplay” is bad manners right? Seriously, nobody who works in the video brandbuilding space would ever subject the eyeballs they’re trying to woo to something as obnoxious as autoplay. Unless you’re Facebook I guess. Autoplaying videos are supposed to start this week on The Book – promising to piss […]

“Engagement” at what price?

Local media organizations work hard, and spend a lot of money to build their brands, and associate their brands with solid content and thoughtful information. But the “comment” sections on their news sites undo all that hard work in seconds.  It is time to end comments. Just a couple of very small, relatively mild examples […]

All in on sunburns

If you want to make a story go away, own your mistake – or at least throw somebody else under the bus if you are rendered unable to act intelligently. It’s that simple. Really, it is. Despite that, institutional ego and a misplaced sense of self-protection is so, so very strong – organizations frequently impale […]

May Day Fail: The Revolution Will Be.. at McDonald’s?

So I’m watching McDonald’s new ad campaign – focused on encouraging us to make the bold move to have lunch at Ronald’s house.  While the digerati are obsessed with the social media aspects of this campaign, I find it most interesting for what it says socially – that leaving the office for lunch became a […]

Clean Cloud Campaign: Wrong target

Finding a way to be offended is the tried-and-true pathway to nurturing a parasitic message. If you can claim offense, you are blessed with the mantle of ”cause” and can thrash the world with your righteous indignation without concern about unintended consequences or having to bother with those pesky policy questions. Greenpeace taps into this […]

Leadership, Tribes & Journalism

There is a TED talk done by Seth Godin that discusses leadership, marketing and messaging, and how humankind now drives change and innovation. I think it’s worth watching.  When I watched this, I thought about (surprise, surprise) the mass media and journalism. What does this say about how media outlets market themselves and manage their […]

An old taboo: The Sleep Country “newscast”

Let me first alert the PR firm that holds Sleep Country’s account and monitors the web for mentions that this isn’t a slam on Sleep Country. The Kent based company merely provides a current example of something that these days, kind of gives me a chuckle when I think about how things “used to be.”  […]

Messing with my mind: Chrysler & America

I knew the Chrysler commercial featuring Clint Eastwood struck a chord when my youngest son instantly hit me with a text that simply read, “America!” What does that tell me? That the emotional drivers associated with a brand are far more important than the facts. Does he not realize that Clint’s tough guy voice […]

What does it mean?

As if Brian Williams’ halting delivery in the promo he shot for KING isn’t strange enough – there’s the “Look at the richness of life, it doesn’t get any better than KING5.”  It’s just so weird. What’s not weird is Williams new promotion of the idea that we all DVR the evening news. “Appointment viewing” […]

Phone books gone bust

I will mention none of the too many phone books by name – because I know what a sore subject this is having a couple of friends who toil long and hard selling very expensive space in the things.  While I’m sure the books can produce a pile of research that will show us what […]

Part 26: What the &#@% is Microsoft thinking?

Don’t think of blue elephants. The next person who makes that sound in this bus will be sent to the office!  Don’t even think about texting or Tweeting from this meeting. Microsoft’s “no texting” edict at its annual employee meeting is so dumb, I would like to think it was a massive reverse-psychology viral communications […]

The gifts that keep on giving

Part of my gig includes some brand management and communications consulting. And I have to tell you, for years I’ve thought that the field of crisis communications and situational brand management would eventually fizzle-out because a new generation of corporate leaders would come into their jobs “getting it” when it comes to public relations and […]

BP-Beyond PR

It takes years to build a reputation, and a minute to destroy one. BP is seeing how this works first hand.  The company just launched an image campaign featuring a TV ad with the CEO talking about how he’ll make it right. He’s well coached and the spot touches on all the stock points – […]

Tiger Tech: FAIL

Nice apology – he owned it – it was heartfelt and it will satisfy those who can be satisfied.  The media wanted a dogpile press conference, but they still wouldn’t have been satisfied, so there’s really no loss associated with not doing a Q-and-A. There is however a loss associated with having 50% of the […]