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Posts Tagged ‘Forbes’

How Should Celebrities Respond to Embarrassing Leaks?

J LawConfession: we mostly ignored Twitter over the long weekend and did not receive the same barrage of news about celebrity image leaks that filled everyone’s timelines on Sunday and Monday.

We have to agree with the sentiments expressed by posts on Forbes and New York magazine, among others: “scandal” is the wrong word to use for a story that involves the sharing of “content” never intended to be public, and the way we approach this topic confirms the persistence of gender-based double standards that have managed to seep into every corner of our society.

We won’t even comment on the asinine arguments made by the people who tried to justify the posting of these images (the very same people who spend so much time ranting about the NSA from their comfy basement perches).

The question, then: how should famous people respond to potentially embarrassing revelations like these?

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PR vs. Advertising: Still the Same Competition?

shutterstock_166919984Forbes just published a piece discussing, in some detail, “the real difference between PR and advertising.”

This realness in difference begins with an old saying: “Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.” Or, boiled down even further, advertising is paid media, public relations is earned media.

A simple maxim from a simpler time. But does it hold up today?

Author Robert Wynne believes that it does. Not only is PR still different from advertising — it’s still better.

“With advertising, you tell people how great you are. With publicity, others sing your praises. Which do you think is more effective?” asks Wynne.

The unspoken answer is supported by a 2014 Nielsen study on the role of content in the consumer decision-making process, which concluded that PR is almost 90% more effective than advertising: “On average, expert content lifted familiarity 88 percent more than branded content…”

Expert sources also agree.

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What Are America’s Most Ethical Companies for 2014?

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Management consulting firm Ethisphere just released its “Most Ethical Companies” list for 2014. While the firm’s scoring and methodology page explains that this is not a perfectly definitive list, it’s still a group that most everyone would like their clients to join.

Honorees were chosen by an advisory panel tasked with reviewing each company’s compliance record, reputation, internal governance practices, CSR efforts and culture via both self-reported applications and outside research.

The list includes 144 companies from 41 industries around the world. They aren’t all household names, and the list does not rank them or inform the reader as to exactly how each individual business earned the distinction. But we’ve picked a few American companies that stood out to us after the jump, starting with the ones you’ll recognize.

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Forbes’ List of Most Trustworthy Celebs Is a Bit Of a Head Scratcher

capt phillips robin robertsWhile you were off being in love and shoveling snow, Forbes released its list of most trustworthy celebrities. And it is a hodgepodge indeed.

On top is Tom Hanks, which completely makes sense. For a person who makes a living pretending to be other people, there is something undeniably genuine about him. No matter the role, you can connect to him. There is a human-ness that just won’t quit. The only other person on this list that makes as much sense is Robin Roberts, the most trusted woman in media and your imaginary brunch buddy.

But then you also have Carol Burnett, who’s wonderful, but not really someone you hear from too often. And, pretty safe bet, she’s not very recognizable to many young people. Can you trust someone you don’t see too often?

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Lessons in Media Relations from Derek Jeter

Sure, Derek Jeter is a great athlete…but can he teach us anything about communications and media relations strategy?

Kwittken + Company CEO/friend of the site Aaron Kwittken’s most recent Forbes story says “yes”. In fact, Kwittken goes so far as to call the veteran shortstop “one of the greatest communicators of all time.”

His points:

  • Jeter sidestepped the sports media entirely by announcing his retirement on Facebook (which he primarily used to promote his charity in the past), prompting The Boston Globe to call him “the Yankee you can’t hate
  • When the frenzy around his search for that 3,000th hit got too hot in 2011, he turned not to ESPN but to HBO, which made a documentary about the story:

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Some Thoughts on Writing Better Copy via Forbes

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Words: how do they work? Forbes contributor Robert Wynne wants to tell you, and he has some good points!

His primary complaint: “Most press releases are drier than bone”. Indisputable fact.

On that topic, Wynee rightly focuses on writing a great headline to bring attention to the key hook beneath it. Let’s try some examples here:

  • Forbes Contributor Advises Communications Professionals on Crafting Compelling Headlines
  • Forbes Contributor Tells Communications Pros: Keep It Brief When Writing Headlines
  • Forbes to Comms: Short and Snappy Gets You Noticed

We like the last one best.

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Your ‘Safest Man to Have Sex With in America’ Pitch Can Only Work So Many Times

That “safest man” would be Ramin Bastani, founder of “an STD app” called Hula which helps users find the most convenient place to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. The tagline is “Hula helps you get laid”, so the messaging is anything but subtle.

We get it—and based on the search results for the phrase in our headline, we can safely say the pitch worked.

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Snapchat’s Spiegel Applied Some Heavy Spin to His Zuckerberg Bromance

ht_evan_spiegel_jef_130416_wblog1This morning we bring you the five words Evan Spiegel needs to hear, via the 2008 Internet:

Dude. You’re doing it wrong.

Spiegel’s non-apology on the Snapchat data breach was lame enough, but last night we learned that he misled a Forbes interviewer about the nature of his relationship with Mark Zuckerberg.

It’s a pretty basic progression, really:

In other words, he was so ready to make himself look good that he made himself look worse.

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And the Award for Corporate #PRFail of the Year Goes to…

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If we hadn’t been busy spending our holidays doing everything but shopping at Target, then we would have covered this story a little more aggressively. As is, we can reflect on its status as the worst crisis comms case of 2013.

The retailer’s big failure doesn’t lie in the breach itself; as Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel told us today, that kind of thing can happen to anyone. It’s more in the way they chose to address it.

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#WalMartFights = PR Nightmare

Today we give thanks for the fact that we didn’t spend Thanksgiving night in jail after stabbing a fellow shopper over a Walmart parking space.

What, you didn’t notice that lots of people are making fun of Walmart today?

The world’s biggest seller of cheap crap took some unusual steps to minimize the easily predictable wave of viral stampede videos this year. These steps ranged from beefing up security with off-duty cops to “using quota systems” for the hottest products and even issuing separate wristbands for sales events starting at 6 and 8, which allow shoppers to “return two hours after an event starts to pick up their purchases.”

But all the “SHOPSTRONG” bracelets in the world couldn’t prevent this knock-down-drag-out over a television:

US CEO Bill Simon made the morning show rounds today in what Forbes calls a “PR offensive.”

How did it go?

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