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To Turn Things Around, Maybe Crocs Should Just Admit Their Shoes Are Ugly

crocsAfter a boom in which it seemed everyone and their grandmother owned a pair of the wide, colorful Croslite Crocs, the company is in trouble. To turn things around, the company introduced different styles, including ballet flats and heels. Still, the company reports that net income fell 44 percent for the second quarter, it’s going to need to close as many as 100 of its 624 stores around the world and 183 people will have to be laid off.

“The company is now planning to cut back on its range of styles by 30% to 40%, as a result,” says Business Insider.

Now might be the time for Crocs to take a lesson from Birkenstocks: You can’t be successful if you can’t face the cold hard truth that the shoes you sell are ugly.

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Mediabistro Course

Social Media 101

Social Media 101Get hands-on social media training in our online boot camp, Social Media 101! Starting September 4, social media and marketing experts will help you determine the social media sites that matter most to you, based on your personal and professional goals. Register before July 31 and get $50 OFF with early bird pricing. Register now! 

Social Media Case Study: National Golf Day Edition

golf balls

Golf and social media might seem like artifacts from entirely different eras, but when the two reach the green together they turn out to mesh quite well. In fact, they may be the only things on which our two political parties can reach agreement.

This case study, via Buffalo Communications, demonstrates the ways in which social can be integrated into pretty much anything.

The task: promote National Golf Day events in Washington, D.C. to audiences worldwide for client WeAreGolf.

The strategy: increase the reach with the help of strategic hashtags, professional golfers, golf fans and, yes, politicians.

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Startups and PR: a Mutual Distrust Club That Doesn’t Need To Exist

Distrust yo

Today we bring you a guest post from Paul WilkeWilke is CEO of Upright Position Communications, the leading IPO public relations firm in Silicon Valley.

This post is presented by AirPR, a technology platform to increase PR performance. The San Francisco-based technology company is passionate about using data to show the true impact and value of PR.

Startups are leery of PR people. PR people are leery of startups. How did it get to be this way? W.C. Fields’ famously said that actors should “never work with animals or children”. If you ask your average PR professional, they’d probably switch out “children” and “animals” with “startups” and “lawyers.”

I run a startup and I work with startups, so I understand where both sides come from and I’m here to say that these two camps don’t need to circle each other warily. The secret to both sides co-existing, co-mingling and thriving is for both to understand where each is coming from, where they’re going and what they want to achieve.

After the jump: Five areas where there appears to be the greatest misunderstanding–and some easy lessons to learn.

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Q&A: Separating Business from Personal Politics

In case you missed it, venture capitalist/Silicon Valley money guru and Y Combinator founder Paul Graham–who helped startups like Dropbox and Airbnb achieve their impressive valuations–received a bit of negative attention from others in the tech scene over the past week for tweeting news stories about the Gaza conflict currently dominating headlines around the world. Here’s an example:

The tweets didn’t go over well with some Israeli members of the tech world. VC and sometime TechCrunch writer Roi Carthy wrote a blog post protesting Graham’s tweets and announcing his decision to stop working with Y Combinator in Israel. He spoke to Kevin Roose of New York magazine and compared Graham’s actions to those of Brendan Eich, who resigned as CEO of Mozilla after reports revealed his donations to the anti-gay marriage Prop 8 campaign:

“Due to mandatory army service, the tech industry and the army in Israel are intertwined…If you don’t recognize that, you shouldn’t be doing business with Israelis.”

The question: how can executives and other public figures avoid this potentially toxic meeting of politics and industry thought leadership?

We spoke to Stan Steinreich, CEO of Steinreich Communications, for his take.

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Roll Call: Ruder Finn, Edelman, RLM Finsbury, And More

Ruder Finn announced several new additions to its global healthcare leadership team:

  • Elyse Margolis was promoted to the position of executive vice president/director, New York Healthcare, where she will continue to serve as client service leader for accounts as well as assuming new responsibilities for the New York team.
  • Trina Chiara was named executive vice president/director, Global Healthcare Business Development. Chiara, who previously served as an NPR reporter for a decade, will both oversee current clients and identify new business opportunities in the healthcare field.
  • Rob Schachter has been promoted to the position of executive vice President, global Healthcare. As a Ruder Finn employee for the past eight years, he handled global franchise portfolios for multiple clients.
  • Glenn Silver joined the practice as senior vice president, Healthcare Media Relations. He will counsel the firm’s extensive list of pharmaceutical clients.
  • Christine Hanson will now serve as senior vice president, Global Healthcare. Hanson, who worked at Manning Selvage and Lee and Danielides Communications, Inc. before joining Ruder Finn, recently managed several high-profile campaigns including one for Novartis’ Bexsero MenB Vaccine. (Release)

Edelman Seattle announced the appointment of Michael Thomas to the SVP role for its technology team. Thomas, who previously served as VP at Edelman’s Chicago office, brings more than a decade of counselling experience in the tech and health sectors to the role; her past clients include GridApp (acquired by BMC Software), Redback Networks (acquired by Ericsson), Opsware (acquired by HP), CrowdControl for Amazon Mechanical Turk, Code Green Networks, Skytap, Fortress Grand, Twisted Pair Solutions and others.

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The FCC Has More Than a Million Net Neutrality Comments to Read

man using computerWith the deadline to file comments passed, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) now has to begin the task of combing through 1,067,779 submissions from the public, a number that the FCC’s head of public engagement Gigi Sohn said is among the highest ever. Many of the comments are said to be angry and filled with foul language.

Reply comments will continue through September 10. New rules are expected by the end of the year.

According to Variety:

Much of the interest appears to have been triggered by the notion that the FCC proposal will be too weak to prevent ISPs from making deals for so-called “paid prioritization,” in which an Internet site could pay to have content like video delivered to a subscriber at a faster speed and better quality. Critics say that “paid prioritization” would lead to a Balkanization of the Internet, in which well-heeled content providers pay for “fast lanes” to gain an advantage.

Some companies like Verizon would be happy to charge companies a little extra for the privilege of having faster speeds.

“Such flexibility to experiment with alternative arrangements not only can reduce costs to end users while allowing them to access the content they demand, but also benefit [Web services] and spur continued investment in broadband infrastructure,” they wrote in a letter to the FCC.

Netflix is not.

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APOCALYPSE WATCH: This Temporary Tattoo Can Unlock Your Smartphone

temporary tattoo

Show us the nearest flip phone dealer, because this newfangled device looks like a special delivery from Lucifer himself.

Anyone catch this news from TechCrunch?

A temporary tattoo that you can place anywhere on your body (if you are into that sort of thing) will unlock your phone. No secret code. No tricks. No thumbprint. Just a mark of the beast called technology hanging out and waiting to gain access into your soul.

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AP #MH17 Tweet Traumatizes English Teachers, the World

AP Tweet Crash LandsThe humble comma — its inclusion can mean life or death for panda bears (and pilots alike), as well as the difference between respectable reporting and an horrific #PRFail.

Case in point: the single tweet posted by the Associated Press late this morning suggesting that the Dutch military plane carrying bodies from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 had crash landed in Eindhoven, when all it really did was land. Read more

Raleigh Firm Attributes Fake Release to Mayor’s Office

FAKE release

(Pic via newsobserver.com)

Yesterday the Raleigh, North Carolina-based firm Misner & Associates defended its decision to issue a press release falsely attributed to the city’s mayor Nancy McFarlane and her communications team.

The release, created to promote a biker festival run by Misner client Ray Price, was printed on what looked like official city letterhead and mailed to local publications; the “letter” listed the mayor’s spokeswoman as a contact alongside Scott Misner himself.

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5 Myths About ‘Viral’ Video Marketing

can-i-make-a-viral-video

Confession: I have been at this PR thing for a while. In that time, I have learned a few irrefutable truths:

  1. There will always be a client that thinks he or she knows more about the media than you.
  2. There will always be at least one agency that can — and will — do it cheaper, faster, and worse than you … and they will still get the business.
  3. There will always be a couple of PR pros on your team who believe the only way to get ahead is to place a knife in your back.

Recently, a new dogmatic fact has crept its way onto the scene, lifted its leg, and marked its territory with authority: Someone — client or fellow flack, it doesn’t matter — will always exclaim, “Oh, we can make that go viral. Easy.

Can we please take that animal out back and make it into glue? Like today?

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