PR Industry Trends

Early Holiday Season Campaign Predictions

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Pumpkin spice.

There, I said it… And the Buzz Bin did not burst into cinnamon-y flames.

In all seriousness, although terrifying, we have T-9 weeks and T-13 weeks until Thanksgiving and Christmas are at our doors (respectively).

What does that mean for a communicator like yourself? It means now is the time to solidify those holiday campaigns and ship them out the door for implementation.

However, in case you have a little wiggle room in those merry marketing plans for innovative thinking… I asked my esteemed colleagues to consider upcoming trends in the consumer products marketplace that we can expect this coming holiday season. 

Take a gander:

  • Stacy Moskowitz, Senior Director: Branded content that both encourages consumers to think and act in the spirit of the holidays, and relies on them to share and help drive awareness and sales.
  • Katie Myers, Senior Director: Products marketed in the context of a broader experience, such as beverage brands that focus less on gifting and more on incorporating them into shared holiday celebrations.
  • Brian Ellis, Executive Vice President: Campaigns that tell brand stories over multiple channels – each one with dynamic elements customized specifically to that

PR Industry Trends

The Internet vs. Your Doctor: Who to Trust

At a recent doctor’s appointment, my physician told me a story about a woman who needed treatment, but left in the middle of the appointment, proclaiming, “That’s not what the Internet said!”

Because we live in an age where consumers can find almost anything they’d like online, sometimes it’s hard to determine who to trust. I was recently reminded of this when the news came out that The American Academy of Pediatrics strengthened its warnings about prescribing codeine for children because of reports of deaths and risks for dangerous side effects including breathing problems. Even though the dangers have been presented, studies suggest it is still commonly prescribed by doctors and dentists despite the risks and lack of evidence that it works to relieve coughs.

Sgty_cough_syrup_mm_160112_12x5_1600o when a doctor prescribes your child a medication that you’ve read several warnings about, what do you do?

One colleague told me that she has no problem talking with her physician about issues like this. It helps build trust and makes her want to continue
going back to the same doctor. And in an instance like this, there are several alternatives for children.

Another colleague chooses to

PR Industry Trends

What You Should Be Drinking This Fall: Five Trend Predictions

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The very definition of the word trend means to veer in a general direction or to show a tendency. Below are five beverages on my radar for the coming months, rooted in hard data but sourced from what I’m seeing and hearing in the New York scene.

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Fresh cocktails

The surge of nutritionally-aware (if not nutritionally-balanced) cocktails is imminent. You read it here first. We’ve seen gain momentum it in the culinary community with fresh, season-driven menus. This philosophy is extending into beverage programs as well. Two examples:

-Mixologists are increasingly using natural natural sweeteners like maple syrup as a healthy and tasty alternatives to refined sugar in cocktails. Here are 27 examples, courtesy of Eater and bar programs around the country.

-Opening next week, Rouge Tomate Chelsea, with its avant-garde SPE-certified food and beverage program, is featuring cocktails (and mocktails) with fresh ingredients like carrot and cucumber juice and chia seeds.

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Big Bottles

Whether high-brow or low-brow, large format bottles are showing up on more home and restaurant tables. There are also restaurants who are putting…

Higher Education

Unpopular Opinion: College Rankings DO Matter

College Ranking Guides

Source: American Observer

Recently, a hot topic of conversation in the higher ed space is rankings – and some are implying that an overabundance of rankings are leaving students confused, not knowing which to trust to help them choose a school.

A recent New York Times op-ed took the notion one step further by simply calling college rankings a joke. Author Frank Bruni writes about quirks in the U.S. News & World Report rankings and how many schools will try to “game the system” to move up in the ranks. My main takeaway from his piece:
…rankings are front and center, fostering the idea that schools are brands in competition with one another. The rankings elevate clout above learning, which isn’t as easily measured.
I agree that rankings shouldn’t be the star of the show, but they deserve a supporting role, at least.

Why shouldn’t higher ed institutions make every effort to raise their profile? And why shouldn’t students tap all available resources to guide their best college decisions?

Rankings elevate a college’s brand in an age where differentiation is critical. The cost of…

Crisis Management

The Samsung Recall of 2016: Galaxy Note7

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If you’ve spent any time on Twitter over the last month, you may have caught wind of the hottest technology crisis since #BendGate in 2015 – Galaxy Note7s are exploding all over the place, leaving loyal Samsung users like myself in a state of panic and denial.

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#ExplosionGate? #BoomGate? #GalacticExplosionGate? Official crisis title is still in the works. In the meantime, let’s take a look at how Samsung is handling crisis communications.

Timing: not great.

Samsung acknowledged the problem with their phones earlier this month and announced a voluntary recall. This was a great first step; however, in their voluntary recall, the company offered a simple exchange for customers’ phones. This move agitated the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). CPSC criticized the Korean company for not coordinating with the agency, and not adequately addressing the full scale of the problem, which affects approximately 1 million US consumers.

One week after their voluntary recall, the CPSC formally recalled all of the devices, entitling users to a replacement device or a refund of their phones, which run between $850-890. The subsequent announcement made Samsung’s original response look inadequate, and hinted that they weren’t taking the