The ‘stiff upper lip’ is a trait frequently dredged up in discussions regarding my nationality. We natives of the British Isles are, for a variety of reasons, famed for our resilient, tacit acceptance of the substandard or difficult, as perfectly underscored by the slogan of famous WWII era posters: ‘Keep Calm and Carry On.’ This… Read more
Finding examples of PR professionals demonstrating egregiously questionable judgment is like shooting fish in a barrel; the industry tends to attract a disproportionate percentage of facile people who think that being a “people person” is the only qualification required. There are no educational or regulatory barriers to entry and, despite the best efforts of PRSA,… Read more
Can you imagine wearing flip-flops and shorts around the office, or writing to colleagues, clients, or customers with “LOL” and “BRB?” A tad inappropriate and rather awkward…right? Maybe not, judging by much of the corporate writing seen on the Internet today. Many companies have turned to online mediums to engage their customers directly, bypassing traditional… Read more
Mainstream media, the tech trades, and the blogosphere are agog covering the story of Burson-Marsteller’s (BM) clandestine anti-Google media pitches on behalf of undisclosed client Facebook, but I’m guessing BM’s John Mercurio still doesn’t get the fuss.
The maturation of the Internet should have been the golden era of the public relations industry. Prior to the widespread use of the Internet, PR firms had to inordinately rely on the mainstream media to communicate client messages to broad-based audiences. Relying on reporters was a dangerous and often difficult process; journalists controlled the bat and ball and they all too often were reckless and arrogant in how they wielded their power.
When it comes to jumping on the latest technology bandwagon, I am always the last one on board. Whereas others tend to await the latest product release by the wunderkinds of Silicon Valley with blissful anticipation, I face them with inevitable dread. I just don’t “get” technology. I barely passed computer science in seventh grade… Read more
Microsoft’s proposed $45 billion bid for Yahoo has received some well-deserved critical coverage. It’s pretty much accepted as a given that most big mergers don’t work out, particularly when they involve technology companies (AOL and Time Warner, H-P and Compaq immediately come to mind). Most of the media analysis on the proposed deal to date… Read more
Cable cars (and Rice-a-Roni) aside, two of the first things that come to mind when most people think about San Francisco are the stunning vistas and, of course, the Golden Gate Bridge. I was delighted to read yesterday that the board controlling the engineering landmark has unanimously rejected proposals to sell corporate sponsorships to help… Read more
I was saddened to read this morning that Vincent DeDomenico died. He was the man behind Rice-A-Roni, the well-known pasta-meets-rice comfort food with the catchy and enduring advertising jingle that I paid tribute to just last week. Rice-A-Roni is etched in the minds of an entire generation as being “The San Francisco Treat” thanks to… Read more
Kermit and the Jolly Green Giant were clearly ahead of their time. Everybody seems to be going green these days, even hotels. While I’d like to believe that Mother Nature has finally gotten to the hospitality industry, I cannot help but be cynical about the hotel industry’s collective environmental epiphany. Do they really care about… Read more