Archive for the ‘PR’ Category

Snapchat Lied. Now This.

May 30, 2014

Snapchat CEO ‘Mortified’ by Leaked Stanford Frat E-Mails

Sarah Frier writing for Bloomberg:

“Snapchat Inc. Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel apologized for e-mails he sent during his fraternity days that celebrated getting drunk and convincing sorority women to perform sexual acts.”

Earlier this month, Snapchat settled with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Because “snaps” on its service do not disappear.

As advertised.

So, Snapchat lied and settled.

Now this.

Snapchat and its CEO are building quite a reputation.

More accurately, a reputation crisis.

To think Snapchat spurned a multibillion-dollar buyout offer from Facebook.

Perhaps Facebook got off lucky.



Twitter: @schwartznow

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Supermoon Myth

June 23, 2013

Supermoon Myth Mostly Motivated by Publicity

Sky & Telescope:

“Despite being closer than usual, supermoons are rather ordinary … take place several times a year. But the media won’t hype that up — can you imagine headlines publicizing, ‘Come out and see the Moon that’s a little bigger than normal!’ or ‘Look out for this amazing event that happens several times a year!’ — yeah, me neither.”

Supermoon Rise: Boulder, Co., Colo.
Crossing Night Sky
Setting Just Before Dawn

“And despite the fact that the supermoon isn’t as extraordinary as some might have you think, any full Moon is still a spectacular sight to behold.”

Morning News Drama and Business: Skip That

April 21, 2013

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of a Ratings War

Brian Stelter writing in The New York Times:

Curry felt that the boys’ club atmosphere behind the scenes at ‘Today’ undermined her from the start, and she told friends that her final months were a form of professional torture.

A nine-page story on the drama of millionaire, morning TV hosts.

Contracts, plots, PR disasters, hurt egos, crying.

But I don’t feel their pain.

Journalism is business, too.  And these hosts know it.

They angle for ratings and power. I need news, weather and sports.

Which are available online, all day long.

Turn off the TV. Turn on the tablet or smartphone.

Unless you like morning soap operas.

Me? Skip that.

Math … Understands Your Business

October 27, 2011
Fibonacci Communications

The S&P 500 Index is a “basket” of companies. Five-hundred of them. Hence, the name. Every week the stocks of these firms are traded. The stocks go up and down, depending on the day or week. Sometimes they seem to need a pause; and taken together, they move sideways for a while.

Their performance up, down or sideways leaves a footprint, tells a story. Stock charts capture this story. In early 2009, the story plot told of an ugly crash.

Since? Well, the story changed. The S&P 500 moved up, with some sideways pauses, and topped this summer. And then, during a time of world economic concerns, they fell. The stocks were sold. They went down. “Click” pic for larger view:

Math Communicating

For those who enjoyed their math, and learning about Fibonacci, this chart appears to tell an interesting story.

After “topping” mid-2011, the S&P 500 fell back to a Fibonacci number – one of the horizontal blue lines.

The Index retraced (went down) 38.2 percent, found comfort at that level, moved sideways for a bit, then bounced up.

Many factors influence the performance of your company, its stock. There are a lot of ways to analyze stocks, too. Sometimes, stepping back to look at the big picture, with the help of some math, can provide clarity.

For some reason, during its most recent fall, the S&P 500 respected a Fibonacci number, and stopped falling. It has since marched higher.

Mixing Fibonacci numbers with stock analysis can provide greater business understanding. It’s not a be-all end-all “golden rule.”

Still, the math seems to be communicating. Perhaps this approach should be in your toolkit…and in that of your consulting firms.

"CEOs: Can We Talk?" (1 of 2)

December 19, 2009

You Need PR Talent in a “Kitchen Cabinet

The Wall Street Journal just waved a red flaat you and your firm:

Knowledge management is one of the workplaces most vexing problems…few organizations can figure out how to share knowledge among employees, or to pass it on when employees leave or change…”

Alright, you’re the CEO.
You have a financial question. So, you turn to the CFO. A legal question? Well, no question, time for legal counsel or your ethics and compliance officer. An employee-related issue? That would be a call to HR. But, today, you have a media-, community- or stakeholder-relations issue or need help with marketing communications. No need for help here. You’re the CEO. This is the “soft” side of the house. The category “Other” on the balance sheet. With your background, you can handle it yourself. No need to bother your boss with it. Better yet, just assign the issue to the “PR” or “Marketing” department.


Everyone needs a “Kitchen Cabinet,” especially when you are at the top. The real question is, “Is your public or media relations staff in your inner circle and, if not, why not?” This is not a post about “succession planning.” This is about real-world “knowledge” and the credibility, reputation, relevancy and profitability of your firm.

I was once assigned by a top corporate officer to be the executive director for a new CEO of our most highly visible, profitable subsidiary. I believe the words were, “Don’t let him out of your sight.” The president was technically sound; I knew external affairs, from public affairs to media relations. I was the “knowledge-voice” that balanced operational decisions with stakeholder expectations. This was a half-billion-dollar operation with huge energy, environmental, defense, and health and safety issues. Not only that, we were part of a Fortune-500 firm listed on Wall Street.

[Read More…]

"CEOs: Can We Talk" (2 of 2)

December 19, 2009

In retrospect, it was a superb move. I was a combination of Chief of Staff/Press Secretary/Marketing without the titles. By aligning my skill set and experience with operations, it freed the CEO to do what he did best vs. trying to make the CEO into something he was not. The move formalized the value of my knowledge and accelerated our firm’s success.

So, how many CEOs used to be head of public affairs, public relations or marketing communications? The answer is, “Very few.” The truth is you probably have some training and street experience, but not decades of experience in “the court of public opinion” and you are not a subject matter expert in these fields. You don’t have to be.

Bottom line: If your inner circle — formal or informal — does not include expertise in media and public relations, then address the situation.

If that expertise is buried under a vice president, tucked away in the organization for budget reasons (budget pressures) or just plain too inexperienced, then at least contract with someone who can fill the empty chair at your table of trust, if only on a “virtual” or contract basis.

Have them work with you — and partner with your public relations department.  It’s an ultra fast way of injecting decades of experience into your organization, in a cost-effective manner, while mentoring the next generation.

You are buying both the knowledge and the transfer of knowledge. The buck stops with you and the knowledge is available. Your company’s issues, good and bad, can become this hour’s news in an instant.  Are you ready to be the news…or to make the news?  Who are you even talking with that would know?

Great leaders are like great coaches: You articulate the vision, execute the plan, manage the resources, communicate your successes…but you don’t have to play all positions.


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