Goldman Sachs and the Perils of PR Spin

April 26, 2010

One of the biggest challenges facing a company under fire is to resist the temptation to downplay the severity of the crisis.  And while there is no shortage of crisis communications advisors who may advocate telling white lies or less inflammatory half truths — a practice euphemistically known as “spin” – that approach almost invariably… Read more

A Marketing Tip For Charles Schwab: “Talk To Blake”

January 11, 2010

There is no retailer I admire or trust more than Nordstrom. My fervent loyalty stems from a favorable experience years ago when a menswear department manager voluntarily refunded the cost of a suit after I complained about premature wear. I had bought the suit a year earlier, didn’t have a receipt, and there was no… Read more

R.I.P. Orange County Register

September 11, 2009

The Internet is typically blamed as the primary reason for the accelerating decline of daily newspapers, but I don’t buy that argument.  Quality neighborhood news cannot easily be found on the Internet and a newspaper that is staffed by journalists who understand and respect the communities they cover will always be in demand.   Sadly, most… Read more

CBS: Cuts the B.S.

April 18, 2008

When a company is coming under fire from the public and media, you can count on their related official statements sounding anything but meaningful or spontaneous. Such statements are often perfunctory at best and clearly written with kid gloves snuggly fitted on the committee of writers’ hands. As a result, the issued statement is invariably… Read more

Reputation Mismanagement, PR Style

April 10, 2008

One of the great frustrations for any profession is to be defined in the public’s collective mind by the unethical or scandalous antics of a handful of individuals whose behaviors or values don’t mirror the majority of those in their industry. Just ask any reputable lawyer, car salesman, mechanic, or real estate agent. Or ask… Read more

Steve Jobs’ Worst Nightmare: If BMW Made Computers

April 4, 2008

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