Corporate Branding Digest, April 18, 2016

‘Pure Michigan’ Campaign Under Fire as Water Crisis Worsens
(Ragan’s PR Daily, 11.04.16)

As scrutiny surrounding the lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, increased this week, PR pros took to social media to express dismay at the state’s seemingly tone-deaf continuation of its “Pure Michigan” tourism campaign.

Communications Teams Must Plan for Crisis, Former American Airlines Executive Andrea Huguely Urges
(Tulsa World, 31.03.16)

Failing to plan is planning to fail, crisis communications consultant Andrea Huguely said during her presentation at the Tulsa Chapter of The Association for Women in Communications’ workshop Wednesday morning.

Crisis of the Week: Valeant Effort at Communication Under Microscope
(The Wall Street Journal, 28.03.16)

Valeant Pharmaceuticals is in the crisis spotlight this week, after announcing it was starting a search for a new chief executive, naming activist investor William Ackman to its board and blaming some of its problems on its former chief financial officer, Howard Schiller, who then responded to the company’s allegations against him. The company admitted “tone at the top of the organization” may have been a factor in its “improper revenue recognition.”

Engaging and Informing Employees During a Crisis
(Fei Daily, 23.03.16)

Most crisis communication plans depend at least somewhat on the ability and willingness of employees to come to work – but that assumption may not be valid.

“If it’s going to come out eventually, better have it come out immediately.” —Henry A. Kissinger

PR: The Evolution of “Spin”

Andreanna Moya Photography

Originally posted on

PR sometimes gets a bad rap for being a spin cycle. I like to look at it a different way. Public relations, like all communications disciplines, has been marked by standards, strategies and tactics that roll along and change over time. Sometimes they even spin full circle, taking us on circuitous detours on the way to ending up back where we were.

Continue Reading →

Your Turn to Celebrate Our 40th: Free Agile PR Seminars

Attention, communications pros: We’re marking our major milestone with several initiatives that give a fond nod to the past while looking to the future, including one targeted to you. The Havas PR team is authoring a book, Agile PR, scheduled to debut before Christmas from AMACOM. In the lead-up, we’re conducting seminars on agile PR—our term for expert messaging in a hyperconnected, always-on, complex world—and we’re offering the first 40 respondents a free seminar in the setting of your choice. (Staff training session? Client-invite event? One-on-one? You decide.) Click here to sign up.

Corporate Branding Digest, July 13, 2015

Apple’s Taylor Swift Retreat Highlights New Corporate Crisis-Management Playbook
(The Wrap, 23.06.15)

Taylor Swift‘s brief battle with Apple over its Apple Music streaming service serves as a reminder of her social media influence, but the bigger story may be the company’s rapid Twitter response and how it highlights an effective playbook for companies managing crises in the digital age.

In Marketing, Getting It Right Every Time Matters
(, 09.06.15)

I work hard to get it right because my biggest fear is that I will fail to convince my audience. As a CMO, you should worry about the same thing. Of course, you know that. But while you’re down in the weeds of a campaign or deep in the mire of your branding strategy, how often do you stop to consider that every job you do as a CMO is really just one job: It’s about how to influence people to do what you want. And how you express that matters every day, every time you produce content.

Can Your Comms Team Predict the Future? Because Your CEO Demands It
(PRWeek, 05.06.15)

CEOs want the ability to see into the future from their communications advisers—to anticipate actions that have the potential to cause a corporate crisis.

Five Reasons You Need a Crisis Communications Plan
(Food Processing, 05.06.15)

Ice cream and listeria. Baby food and glass. Sprouts and E. coli. These days food and beverage processors are ground zero for brand reputation and media relations. When things go wrong, people want to hear firsthand from the folks responsible for both the problem and the solution.

“Digital brand integration is part of the evolution of product placement. It’s simply another tool marketers use to get products integrated into shows.” —David Brenner

Corporate Branding Digest, Dec. 22, 2014

Make a New Year’s Resolution to Humanize Your Marketing for 2015
(Entrepreneur, 15.12.14)

People do business with people they like. That adage rings will ring as true as ever in 2015. To improve your ROI on marketing, you will need to humanize your communications.

The Inescapable Paradox of Managing Creativity
(Harvard Business Review, 12.12.14)

When facing the challenge of unleashing organizational innovation, many leaders fail. Some attempt to help their teams flourish by granting almost unlimited freedoms, only to discover that they have created chaos, not high performance. Others try to force their employees’ creativity through prescribed programs and activities, which usually yields humdrum results at best.

How to Create Exciting Content for a Boring Industry
(Hubspot, 05.12.14)

As I interview new candidates for content marketing positions on my team, there is one question I feel necessary to ask: “How will you handle writing for B2B accounts?” What I am really asking is, “Are you OK writing for what may be considered boring topics, and how will you make each piece interesting?”

The Perfect Case Against Microsoft CEO’s Remark that Women Shouldn’t Ask for Raises
(Fast Company, 14.10.14)

The Microsoft board member who publicly called out the CEO’s disastrous remarks last week shares the opportunity in the blunder.

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” —Steve Jobs

Why Are There So Many Women in PR?

Sam Howzit

[Originally posted on PRSAY, the PRSA blog.]

That’s a question a lot of media watchers have been asking lately. Now that the rules of communications and interaction are being rewritten by a generation of digital natives who live their lives online 24/7, it’s time to reevaluate what this job—which I have loved ever since I made the shift from advertising to PR about six years ago—really means.

Continue Reading →