Nov 19 2015
Do hospitals and physicians really want to improve the patient experience, or are they just studying to the HCAHPS and CG CAHPS tests? While this is only my experience, I am fairly confident my experience is all too common.
I was having significant pain on the left side of my neck and shoulder. And I had nerve pain shooting down my left arm. It was back.
Five years ago I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in my cervical spine. That time, I had no idea what was going on. I just knew I had uncontrollable pain that couldn’t be relieved by ibuprofen, ice or heat. And I had numbness and tingling in my arms and fingers. Fortunately, I was able to resolve the issue with physical therapy.
So back to my current diagnosis. While my doctor’s office was able to get me in pretty quickly and start a course of medications to relieve the pain and swelling, it took a week to schedule my MRI, and another several days after that before I could actually have the scan. Earlier appointments were available, but…
Oct 20 2015
This content was co-authored by Julie McCracken
Reputation is a critical component that often determines whether a company can bounce back from a potentially damaging situation. It’s also a determining factor in whether a consumer will decide to buy your product. These days, not only do consumers consider how they perceive your brand, but also how they perceive actions by your company.
Do consumers have an affinity with your brand? Do they believe your company to be a good steward?
Some of the most reputable companies are also the most valuable brands, and it’s no surprise that the two go hand-in-hand. While brand focuses on company promise (what’s in it for me?), reputation focuses on company purpose (what’s in it for us?).
But, successful corporate and brand reputations aren’t built overnight. Reputation management is a long haul. A strong reputation can drive lasting business success by increasing employee retention, and ensuring repeat purchases from customers. However, a tainted reputation disrupts the business cycle, and can make it difficult to bounce back from. It may take years to build or even restore a powerful reputation…
Oct 9 2015
With Facebook’s recent unveiling of ‘Reactions’ emoji buttons, marketers may gain a new way to gauge consumer sentiment. Mark Zuckerberg shares that Reactions are Facebook’s answer to the ongoing call for a “dislike” button. “Not every moment is a good moment,” Zuckerberg said, “and sometimes you just want a way to express empathy.”
The idea that one can express empathy with the click of a button seems a tad unauthentic to me. To McKinney chief strategy officer, Walt Barron’s point, empathy isn’t just caring about what another person is feeling; it is understanding and feeling what they are feeling – “hurting like they hurt.”
In today’s hyper-connected, technology-driven world, we still hunger for powerful human connections, even in the compressed culture of online communication. Empathy holds that power. It pierces through the noise because it captivates and motivates us – it spreads because we want to share it with others.
Virtual reality has the ability to reshape the future of entertainment, journalism and advertising. Facebook recently introduced 360-degree videos to its newsfeed platform, allowing users to experience video with the ability to look around in every direction, increasing user interaction.…
Oct 6 2015
I left the recent annual meeting I attended on behalf of the Society of Professional Journalists with a notebook half full of notes. But one particular thought I jotted down stood out to me. As Boyd Huppert of KARE 11 in Minneapolis-St. Paul so eloquently put it, “In everything you do, you MUST define your focus. That is, the emotion or concept that ties together the disconnected pieces of your story.” As I packed up my backpack after Boyd’s engaging and poignant seminar and headed back to my hotel room, I came to the realization that Boyd’s quote was applicable to so many aspects of today’s PR world. Journalists must define their focus, and as PR professionals, we have the unique opportunity to help sharpen their lens.
The Focus of PR
To say that journalists and PR pros are opposites is to see things a bit too narrowly. The argument is that the journalist is trying to tell the world the truth, while the PR pro is trying to put a positive spin on the product of his or her client, which means the exaggeration of good points and the minimization of bad points. The fact is, however, that reporters are driven…
Oct 2 2015
With Big Data comes big responsibility. I’m not here to warn you that Facebook will steal your underpants if you don’t post this in your timeline (although John Oliver isn’t saying they won’t). As companies collect more intel on consumers, both openly and covertly, it offers tremendous opportunities to enhance the customer experience, but it also can leave them feeling a little uncomfortable.
There is the occasional awkwardness when a casual acquaintance asks about a recent event you posted and you are wondering how they knew you just went sky diving. Despite some consumer pushback and rise of ad blockers, the data collection goes on making our lives more open than we may think. Following social postings of people can be good or bad. One of my favorite examples of this is with Morton’s Steakhouse and Peter Shankman; the ultimate instance of Surprise and Delight. On the flip side, Allstate’s Mayhem Guy hysterically demonstrated the dangers of over sharing.
The F&B manager of a major hotel brand recounted a story to me where a guest was bothered when an employee, seeing her eminent arrival…
Sep 24 2015
It is confirmed, friends – more people die from selfies than shark attacks. But let’s be realistic, that scary stat won’t make you think twice about flipping your camera for a quick, pouty duckface. Rules of thumb: avoid selfies behind the wheel, at extreme heights or with wild animals. Selfie eating, on the other hand, is good in our book. Which is why we are giving a nod of approval to Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s Selfie Spoon. A brilliant blend of consumers’ food porn fascination with the human ego obsession, the selfie spoon is a clever marketing move to target Millennials who are constantly facing the dilemma between a picture of a mouthwatering meal or their face.
In true narcissistic foodie fashion, Millennials have already emptied Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s Selfie Spoon inventory and are chomping at the bit for more. What can your food brands learn from Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s Selfie Spoon?
Sep 17 2015
I’m a political news junkie. But I’m not a reality TV fan. Nonetheless, I’ve watched the recent republican presidential debates, which seem to be a strange mix of politics and reality TV. Whether you’re a democrat, republican, libertarian, or independent, if you are a communications professional, there are several takeaways from the most recent debate.
It serves as a natural platform for highlighting some of the do’s and don’ts of effective communication, whether in an interview, presentation or 1:1 discussion. The following are my observations on the winners and losers of the latest debate from a communications perspective:
1. Be prepared. As one of my colleagues who is an expert in media training and crisis communications often says, most of us are “wing it” challenged. In other words, most of us need to invest some time and energy in planning ahead for success. When it comes to preparing for a presentation or media interview, for example, it’s important to anticipate the questions you are likely to get from your interviewers, audience and challengers, in the case of a debate or election. If you spend just 15 minutes, you can likely come up with an easy list of 20…
Sep 15 2015
A couple weeks ago, in part 1 of my conversation, Kelly O’Keefe shared his thoughts on why colleges struggle to differentiate and how branding can help.
It starts with “choosing to be different,” says O’Keefe, a professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter, the number one graduate advertising program in the country, and a partner at PadillaCRT.
This week, I continue my conversation with Kelly, taking a look at the choice made by one school at VCU and at how colleges can implement brand decisions.
Christian Munson: You’ve talked about differentiation in higher education beginning with a decision “to be different.” Give me an example of this.
Kelly O’Keefe: The Brandcenter is part of the VCU School of Business. In aligning its brand and strategic plan, the School of Business identified qualities that separated it from other successful business schools like Darden, Kellogg, Harvard and others. They learned that the VCU School of Business had an outstanding chance of pushing against the way that traditional business schools deliver education. They decided on an educational approach more firmly rooted in creative thinking than other institutions. The result was a statement that…
Sep 14 2015
I’m from Generation X. I came of age when Nirvana and Pearl Jam were in their primes, when grunge-inspired fashioned reigned supreme and everyone in my demographic was slapped with the slacker, disenfranchised stereotype. But we eventually grew up, cut our long hair (myself included), launched respectable careers, started families and generally became productive, grounded members of society—leaving that Gen X stigma long in the past. Or so I thought.
Then PadillaCRT client, Allianz Life, published the following headline earlier this summer:
And the notion that my “peeps” had turned out okay came into question. In full disclosure, I assisted with communicating these findings—which came from Generations ApartSM —a new Allianz Life study on how Generation X and baby boomers are facing their financial future. But I’d be lying to say that I wasn’t alarmed by the implications.
It seems that living with debt has become a way of life for Gen X as the stigma of owing money—lots of it—is gradually disappearing. Consider this, nearly half (48 percent) of Gen Xers agree that credit cards now…