Monday, February 1, 2010

Domino's Good/Bad PR

This TIME story about Domino's Pizza is interesting. Domino's has kicked off a campaign in which it admits it has made bad pizza and now is trying to do better. What's funny is the TIME story says Domino's has failed at it's redo, but even noticing is more than most pizza restaurants do. Not sure that's a ringing endorsement, but it beats being known for spitting on pizzas.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cut Spending?

In all the clamor about our national deficit, I am reminded of the fact that very little spending can be cut without dramatic cultural and economic changes/pain. According to Bruce Bartlett, we can't cut spending.

Game Changer in Massachusetts

The Scott Brown win was pretty surprising given that it occurred in Massachusetts and as the replacement for Ted Kennedy. Brown's opponent ran a pretty bad campaign, so that didn't help. Who knows if Scott can win again in three years, but he's there now. There were two choices Brown made that were PR gold, in my opinion.

First, he defined his campaign by appealing to JFK, suggesting Brown wasn't that different from 1960s Kennedy: "In the first post primary campaign commercial, Massachusetts State Senator Scott Brown creatively splices together images of himself with video of JFK calling for tax cuts in 1962."

However, Brown's best messaging came from the debate right before the election: "...a debate moderator asked him if he was prepared to vote to kill the health care reform bill if he won "Teddy Kennedy's seat." Brown responded, "With all due respect, it's not Kennedy's seat. It's not the Democrats' seat. It's the people's seat."

Very wise moves on Brown's part. Coakley underestimated her opponent, that's for sure.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Go Easy on Us and We'll Take Care of You

Well this story doesn't sound good. I think it is good for any organization to track the coverage that it receives. However, I'm not real comfortable with rewarding reporters for good coverage and punishing or blocking those who ask the hard questions. I'm always amazed when PR pros create bad press for themselves and their clients. That's pretty much the opposite reason the pros were hired.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

PR gets Mommy bloggers in trouble

I'm not sure PR is really to blame here (Mommy bloggers vow to avoid ethical conflicts, Kuhn), but since the industry is an easy target it gets the blame. In PR, we aim to partner with media that has the most influence. If we can get prominent mommy bloggers to help, then so be it. However, PR pros don't need to try to convince the bloggers to be stealthy about the partnership. Just put it out in the open and let the readers know you worked with a PR person on the product. The only way I see this as unethical is if the blogger has never used the product and is only plugging it for a kickback. That blogger really has an honesty and greed problem. If the blogger is being paid, then that's really marketing/advertising, which has a much deeper history of deception than PR. PR is generally all about unpaid, uncontrolled media. If we send info to a mommy blogger with no strings attached, and that blogger features it, I see no problems.

Astroturf v. Grassroots PR

So, is astroturf to blame for the chaos at these health care town hall meetings (When Astroturf Goes Too Far, Zelizer)? Or, is it simply genuine citizen angst? Based on this (Let's Talk Astroturf, Howe), I would say there is plenty of astroturf coming from pro-reformers, but you can't write it all off to that. The opponents and the supporters both genuinely care and are passionate about their views. The philosophical differences between the two sides are huge, which does not make civility an easy thing to maintain.