Feb 18 15

Brian Williams and the state of media: A conversation with longtime newsman David Lyons


In the wake of the Brian Williams scandal and subsequent suspension from NBC News, I spoke with longtime newspaper reporter and editor, David Lyons, to get his take on the situation and how he currently views the media.

David has been a journalist for more than 40 years including as a writer at The Miami Herald, editor-in-chief at the Daily Business Review and his current position as editor-in-chief at EXECUTIVE South Florida magazine.

Below are my questions and his responses, which have been edited for brevity.

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Posted in: Media

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Feb 18 15

Brian Williams’ “Hero Syndrome”: What media, companies and brands can learn from this anchor’s big mistake


NBC’s emotional coverage of a tribute for a retired soldier who provided ground security in Iraq for Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams certainly had some unintended consequences. Namely, the discovery that Williams’ claims of being on a helicopter that was forced down by an RPG hit during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion in Iraq are false.

Over the past few years, hundreds of companies have developed programs to support and honor our military and returning soldiers. It is truly wonderful that our country has rallied to support those who make the tremendous sacrifice to defend our freedom and honor in the armed services. At the same time, aligning with the military is also a smart brand move. According to a 2014 Gallup poll, the military continues to rank as the most trusted institution in America, a position it’s held for almost 25 years.

However, as organizations consider the best way to honor, engage and support military families, there are unique considerations that come into play.

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Posted in: Crisis Communication

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Feb 17 15

Why Ithaca is a Breakout Brand for telling tourists to stay away


Ithaca is gorges. That’s been the tourism slogan for this beautiful area in New York’s Finger Lakes for many years. But today, marketers are saying “Ithaca is refreshingly honest and exceedingly smart.”

Bruce Stoff, director of Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention & Visitors Bureau, is getting national attention from the likes of the TODAY Show on the Bureau’s decision to “surrender to winter.”

As reported in the Miami Herald, the website shows “Visit Ithaca” crossed out and an invitation to visit the Keys instead until things in Ithaca “thaw out.” The article lauds the area for truth in advertising.

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Posted in: Marketing, breakout brands

Feb 3 15

“Future of Journalism” panel: How the newsroom is entering the 21st century


Five years ago, most journalists probably wouldn’t have predicted where the industry would be in 2015, what with the rise of digital media and its impact on traditional journalism.

Still, in my opinion, technology hasn’t killed journalism. It’s shaken up the media business model and ushered it into a new age – one where journalists aren’t simply responsible for storytelling but also engaging with their audiences through social media, blog posts and other mediums.

In fact, social media is dramatically shaping the way news is consumed, distributed and reported. For example, 30 percent of Americans, including myself, are increasingly turning to Facebook for news updates, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.

But all these changes weren’t really “news” to the six media experts selected to join the Future of Journalism panel presented by PRSA Miami and Social Media Club South Florida in January 2015.

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Posted in: Business Thoughts

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Jan 14 15

Does McDonald’s new ad campaign deserve the backlash?


When McDonald’s new ad campaign aired during the recent NFL Playoff game, it caught my attention right away. It features the iconic burger chains’ roadway arches signs imprinted with messages of hope and gratitude.

Some of the words reflect national moments, including “Boston Strong” and “We Remember 911.” Others are more local and personal – “Happy 95th Birthday Woody We Love You” and “It’s a Girl Rosalie Kay.” All it took was the musical element – a school choir singing “Carry On” by Fun. – to bring a tear to my eye. Our friends watching the game together shared the same sentiment – we loved the ads.

That’s why I was surprised to read and hear multiple reports of backlash against the campaign. Some called it tone deaf, tasteless and marketing propaganda.

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Posted in: Marketing

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Jan 9 15

Up and running: 4 marathon training tips that can make you a better PR pro


When I signed up for my first half marathon in August 2014, I was unaware of the journey that awaited me. My longest run to date had been only three miles. Even though I knew 13.1 miles was no small task, I had confidence that I could make it to the finish line if I followed a regimen.

I started training for the race by pounding the pavement every evening after work. As the distances increased, I noticed parallels between running and my work in public relations. Although the two seem unrelated, the fact is that PR professionals can learn to go the distance if they apply simple marathon training techniques to their everyday work.

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Posted in: Marketing, Public Relations

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Jan 6 15

7 effective social media content tips from our local community


I recently had the pleasure of leading a “speed marketing” roundtable discussion at an event hosted by Social Media Club South Florida. The topics ranged from Visual Communication and Data-Driven Social Media Strategies to Advocacy and Social Media Crisis Management. My particular table topic was Social Media Content.

The “roll-up your sleeves” roundtable experience made for dynamic and fast-paced conversations – much like social media itself.

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Posted in: Marketing, Social Media

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Dec 30 14

5 ways to succeed with your #BreakoutResolution in 2015


With the New Year upon us, it’s time to take stock and set goals for 2015. rbb is joining the resolution wave with our 2015 New Year’s Breakout Resolution Project. Post your New Year’s resolution with the hashtag #BreakoutResolution and rbb will make a donation to City Year for every post we receive.

We all know that following through on resolutions can be challenging – 33 percent of resolutions will be abandoned by the end of January, and as many as 80 percent will be given up on eventually.

Here are a few ways to make sure your 2015 resolutions stick.

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Posted in: Marketing


Dec 23 14

5 must-have skills for budding PR pros


January 2015 marks my one-year anniversary as an assistant account executive at rbb. I’ve learned much about what makes a great Breakout Brand, as well as the power of saying “Thank you.”

There’s still so much that I look forward to accomplishing, and that’s best achieved by looking back. That’s why I decided to put together a list of the top five skills I feel have been most important to succeeding as a budding PR pro.

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Posted in: Marketing, Public Relations

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Dec 22 14

Travel companies show what the holiday spirit is all about: Surprises


The holidays, in addition to being the “most wonderful time of the year,” are also the busiest time for travel companies. Between the shopping deals and holiday rush, companies within the travel space are turning to one of the oldest tricks in the PR stunt book to break through and be noticed – the Surprise and Delight.

The premise is simple: Spring a surprise on an unsuspecting group that will delight the audience and garner buzz.

Rather than inviting media to attend and capture the stunt, companies are relying on strategic partnerships and social media to drive their holiday campaigns.

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Posted in: Marketing, Public Relations

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