Media Relations

Are you calling me a liar?

Do you believe what you are told? Most Americans don’t. According to Gallup, sixty percent of Americans have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. The distrust doesn’t stop there; Americans are less likely to perceive large industries as “generally honest and trustworthy,” according to a survey from Harris Interactive. Continuing the trend, a recent Harvard University Institute of Politics poll found less trust in government than ever before.

Are Americans really this suspicious? Yes, we are, says Corinne Hoare, Professor at American University School of Communication. In the court of public opinion, guilty until proven innocent is the rule according to Hoare. The daily deluge of scandals, cover-ups and malfeasance increase the public level of contempt. Hoare advocates avoiding the six sins of crisis communications that are guaranteed to make any situation even worse:

(1) Don’t lie

(2) Avoid displaying arrogance

(3) Don’t dither or delay

(4) Don’t stonewall

(5) Don’t pretend things are “OK”

(6) Don’t blame others

Americans are a forgiving people. However, a majority of Americans believe forgiveness is conditional. A poll from Michigan-based Fetzer Institute found that 60 percent of respondents said “forgiveness…

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PR Industry Trends

5 Internal Communications Trends


Credit: Flickr User Sebastien Wiertz

Over the years, internal communications has changed, and companies now recognize the importance of keeping associates engaged, informed and inspired. An effective internal communications plan can help build a positive culture, enhance associate morale, increase productivity and decrease turnover.

With technology changing, the amount of resources a communicator has at his or her disposal continues to grow and evolve.

Here are five internal communication trends to look for in 2014 and beyond:

1. Responsive Emails
Let’s all face the fact that the medium of emails is here to stay. Emails are still the most reliable, bang-for-your-buck tool for communicators to reach associates. However, the majority of emails I check on my smartphone require me to pinch the screen to zoom in and out and create a terrible user experience.

Making your company’s emails responsive will automatically adjust the email to the correct dimensions for any smartphone or tablet. Responsive emails can enhance the user experience and increase the likelihood that the message will be read. There are several options that companies like ExactTarget and Mailchimp offer for sending responsive emails that…

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BuzzLine: Hottest Month of the Year

coolDon’t try this “stay-cool” trick at home- it leads to cuts, bruises, and even chipped teeth!

It’s the hottest month of the year and people are coming up with some pretty strange ways of cooling off. With a large tarp, some environmentally friendly soap and endless buckets of water in hand, professional stunt group SuperTramp created a DIY slip-n-slide. What’s so dangerous about that you ask? Instead of a plastic pool at the end of the slide, these stunt performers slid off a 50-foot cliff and into the lake below.

The video, which took two days to film, shows members sliding off in slow motion in perfect form in everything from a cannonball to a back flop. The performers explained hitting the water felt like “when people take a box of fireworks and throw it at your back.” Other ways these stunt performers have tried to stay cool include creating the world’s most dangerous rope swing, tricycle racing and testing out hover boards in the water.

Although these options might be taking it to the extreme, I think we can all agree it’s time to come up with some easy…

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Wine, Food & Nutrition

(Mis)Perception on a Plate: 5 Formerly Vilified Foods

Those of us in PR who represent food, nutrition and health products are often re-explaining and redefining our consumables based on evolving science. While other industries such as consumer electronics definitely have lots of technical updates to communicate to passionate publics, people tend to have a special level of concern about a product they actually swallow and put into their bodies. Is it wholesome and nutritious? Will it keep me from getting a disease, or will it cause unwanted side effects? The answers to those questions can change over time as researchers conduct more studies, and foods we once gulped down can sometime fall out of favor while other foods we once shunned can become desirable. It’s challenging for marketing communicators to ensure the public keeps up with the facts.

Here’s a glimpse at five foods whose confusing stories have clarified over time and taken them from “avoid” status to mass consumption:

killer tomatoesTomatoes. This is perhaps one of the more dramatic supermarket turnaround stories. While today tomatoes are our country’s fourth-most popular fresh-market vegetable (actually, a fruit) behind potatoes, lettuce and onions, they were once thought to be deadly toxic.…

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Tackling Childhood Obesity – What’s Working and What’s Not

kids running

It’s been a week of highs and lows for children’s health advocates.  A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that more than three-quarters of U.S. children eat fruit on any given day, and nearly 92 percent dig into vegetables in a 24-hour period.  As a mom of two boys, I find this to be a pleasant surprise.  But, it’s not all sunshine and roses.  Another CDC study uncovered that youth fitness has declined by about 10 percent since 2004, and is significantly below what it should be.

Gordon Blackburn, director of cardiac rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic put the research into context, “Thirty years ago, we would not have expected to see 12-year-olds with symptoms of cardiac disease.  Now we’ve had to start a pediatric preventive cardiology clinic.”

There has been a concerted effort through a variety of campaigns to move the needle on kids’ health and fitness.  In 1991, the “5 a Day” (now “Fruits and Veggies – More Matters”) campaign was created to increase fruit and vegetable consumption for better health.  In 2007, the campaign shifted to target Gen X moms with a digital effort focused on recipes,…

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