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.
Posted in: Media
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.
Posted in: Crisis Communication
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.
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.
Posted in: Marketing
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.
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.
Posted in: Marketing
Tags: best practices
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.
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.