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Excuses, Excuses! — A Six-Word Contest for #PR Communicators Everywhere

dog ate my homework

Kids have been heading back to school the last couple weeks. Pencils are sharpened, lunches are packed and… excuses are ready.

Most of you are done turning in homework to teachers, but, just for today, hop in the way-back machine and imagine that you flat-out forgot to do a vocabulary assignment. What SIX-WORD excuse would you use to buy yourself another day?


  • “My dog ate the toner cartridge.”
  • “My varsity Scrabble practice ran late.”
  • “I thought you said DO today.”

Put your six-word excuse in the comments below, and we’ll pick a winner at the end of the month.

A Target gift card is up for grabs.

Now, where’s your homework?


Just to be Safe – How Becoming a Mom Changed My Purchasing Habits

Photo Credit: Jennifer Otchy PhotographyJust within the first few moments of becoming a mother, my entire being irrationally shifted into a pervasive need to protect my baby in every way possible. My daughter’s arrival into the world left me desperate to preserve her pureness and keep her safe.

Before kids, I did not invest in buying organic foods and I most certainly didn’t think about the ingredients in my personal care products. For the most part, I ate what I believed to be a healthy and balanced diet and would hit the gym regularly. After kids, my kitchen is stocked with organic foods and my personal care products lean toward the natural or naturally based. As for the gym…I’m working on finding the time.

For me, it was the reality of being responsible for the health and wellbeing of someone else that created a purchasing pattern of “just to be safe.” Are organic foods actually worth the added cost? Maybe not, but just to be safe, that’s what I will opt for now that I’m a mom. Is that smart, logical and rationale? I’ve done the research and I still don’t know, but it…

Crisis Management

Handling a Crisis: Head Trauma and the NFL

Football season is here, and as a Green Bay Packers fan, I could not be more excited. But communications professionals say that the National Football League could potentially have more than just rowdy fans on its hands this season.

This week, Sony Pictures released a trailer for a new movie about the dangers of head trauma in football. The film, Concussion, tells the story of neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered chronic brain trauma in football players, and the hostility he faced as the league tried to silence him. be7a5d2b4bb74999b7303754c671d160-a4ea6ebf0ddf4211932e185a75fe4e7b-0

As communicators, we all know the importance of being honest, relevant and timely with our audiences. So when the NFL began making headlines in recent years over the health and safety of its players, I was curious how an organization as big as the NFL would honestly and effectively communicate its efforts to millions of beloved fans.

The release of Concussion is anticipated to bring the long-running issue into mainstream news once again. And, experts say that although the NFL has been communicating about its health and safety efforts, this movie’s release could potentially reignite the discussion on a much broader…


Hey you! Do you know who you’re talking to? Three big signs that you don’t.

I’ve spent my entire 20+year career helping B2B technology brands “market” themselves better. And one thing I’ve discovered is this: most companies don’t have any idea who they’re talking to.

B2B 1

Don’t worry; it’s not just your brand; it’s a universal challenge. Size of the company doesn’t seem to matter, nor does the volume of PR and marketing investment, or the passion of its employees. Most B2B technology brands simply don’t have a solid understanding of their target audience and what motivates buyers to write a check.
When asked, these same companies will insist they know their audience. At least, they have a gut feeling from all the years of experience so that should be good enough, right? Wrong.

Not understanding the behaviors, motivators and influencers of buyers is one of the top reasons why companies waste marketing budget, spin wheels and feel like the “market just doesn’t get us.” It can also frustrate the sales team, confuse the market and empower the competition.

So, do you know who you’re talking to? Here are three of the most obvious signs that you don’t (and how you can take a step…

The Booze Bin

Not Your Father’s Root Beer – Growth Strategies for Small Brands

an adult root beer float

One of the most popular products to hit the beverage industry in recent history came in the form of Not Your Father’s Root Beer (NYFRB). This beer-slash-soda brand has taken the market by storm, as it represents one of the newest trends in alcohol, “malternatives” aka alternative malt beverages (usually artificially flavored). Social media has been in a tizzy as consumers frantically search for it on the shelves of their local retailers. The consumer is truly engaged with the product and shares updates about where to find it and what it taste likes.   Instagram feeds flooded with photos of the bottles with captions such as “YES! Finally, was able to get my hands on some. Now to see if the hype is true” and “I tried it and like it! #NotYourFathersRootbeer.” One NJ liquor store posted: “Not Your Father’s Root Beer is back in stock. Limit one six-pack per person. Don’t wait it will be gone in a day or two.”

But why has this brand been so successful and what can we learn from their product launch? Not Your Father’s Root Beer…