PRspectives BLOG

What We Can Learn from Huge, Public PR Crises

What We Can Learn from Huge, Public PR Crises

It’s certainly been a hectic few weeks for the corporate communicators and PR pros. Where to begin? Pepsi’s tone-deaf commercial? United’s trio of non-apologies? Sean Spicer’s epically disastrous White House press conferences? The subject of crisis communication training from these potentially reputation-altering disasters has been explored in depth over the last several days – PR Daily and PR News have good examples, if you’re curious.

What’s most interesting to me is how the PR discipline and profession is at the center of the news cycle. Suddenly, people are in tune to how mega corporations such as Pepsi and United “spin” controversial topics. Crisis communication is publically discussed, and everyone is a critic. This can be nerve-wracking for those of us who work in PR and represent different clients – the dawning realization that we’re all just one misstep away from being under a microscope.

So what can we learn from this? As PR pros, we have to conduct ourselves (and instruct our clients to conduct themselves) as if they’re always on the verge of the whole country seeing inside their operation. We need to push our clients to move toward proactive diversity in their executive team and company representation. We should be the gatekeepers of spin, ensuring that we never let the truth run away from us. And finally, if a mistake happens, we need to make sure that the apology is genuine.

The chances of one of our clients running into a major international PR crisis is slim, but most businesses will deal a public problem of some size at some point. The difference between our clients and mega brands such United or Pepsi is that our clients don’t have the firepower of a multibillion dollar brand behind them – it’s up to us, their PR representatives, to handle the situation as ethically as possible. Let’s let these big stories serve as a reminder to review crisis communication plans and rededicate ourselves to ensuring that telling truthful stories is at the center of our PR strategies.

All Points Team Prepares to “Switch & Pitch”

All Points Team Prepares to “Switch & Pitch”

In the spirit of continual education and innovation, the All Points team hosts monthly seminars where team members give presentations on a variety of subjects with the aim of improving the company’s overall skill set. This month, PR Associates Liz Robinson and Mackenzie Coopman presented on pitching the media – specifically, how to make sure a pitch resonates with the media and several ways to rehab a pitch to be new and fresh.

Liz and Mackenzie discussed how to eradicate overused corporate jargon (“synergy,” “thought leader,” “unicorn,” “the Uber of XXXX”) from pitches, isolating the correcting pitching channels and tailoring each pitch to the specific reporter and client. They also shared some helpful hints about building relationships with reporters and crafting thought-provoking subject lines.

The presentation, while informative on its own, served a greater purpose: to be the lead-in for a brand new All Points initiative spearheaded by Mackenzie and Liz. Dubbed “Switch & Pitch,” each All Points team member will be assigned a partner to switch clients and phone pitch for an hour during the month of May.

Switch & Pitch is an innovative way for the All Points team to bring fresh ideas to our clients and fully utilize the variety of skill sets that our team brings to each account. Stay tuned for results, and for next month’s seminar!

All Points Team Gives Back with Positive Impact

All Points Team Gives Back with Positive Impact

“Driven by our core values, All Points strives to positively impact the communities in which we live and work through our philanthropic and volunteer efforts. We are passionate about our commitment to corporate social responsibility and making a positive impact on meaningful social, community and environmental organizations.”

This is the mission statement for All Points’ Positive Impact program, in which the whole company participates in community service activities throughout the year, and it’s something we always enjoy while adding to a fun All Points tradition. Not only do we get to spend some time as a team outside of the office, but we’re able to do our part to make our small corner of the world a brighter place.

A few weeks ago, All Points’ participated in Positive Impact by spending a day working with Bernie’s Book Bank in Lake Forest, Illinois. Bernie’s Book Bank’s mission is to collect, process and distribute quality new and gently used children’s books to at-risk infants, toddlers and school-age children throughout Chicagoland. This resonated with our staff, considering many of us are avid readers whose lives have been positively impacted through book ownership in our childhoods.

As the year progresses, the All Points team looks forward to giving back through different quarterly initiatives. We take our sense of social responsibility seriously, and we’re already looking forward to our next quarters’ Positive Impact event!

Check out our Facebook page for more photos of our day at Bernie’s Book Bank!

All Points Team Prepares to Celebrate No Taxation without Relaxation

All Points Team Prepares to Celebrate No Taxation without Relaxation

During the March seminar, PR Associate Lizzie Baunach presented an agency-wide campaign for one of our most colorful clients, Kona Ice.

Beginning with colorful leis for the entire team, Lizzie kicked off the presentation by sharing some of the work that All Points has done on behalf of the Kona Ice brand in our tenure as its public relations agency, specifically for its National Chill Out Day campaign. From cultivating relationships with local media to share Kona’s dedication to givebacks to securing national TV segments and placements, All Points has dedicated an enormous amount of manpower and hours toward making this campaign a success.

And 2017 is no different – with newer, bigger goals in mind, Lizzie pumped the team up to get involved at every level – pitching the media, securing interviews and analyzing the data to make this the most successful National Chill Out Day yet!

The presentation concluded with a surprise FaceTime appearance from Kona Ice’s CEO, Tony Lamb, who showed up on the big screen in the conference room to deliver a pep talk ahead of the campaign’s beginning.

After a thoughtful, articulate presentation, Lizzie generated lots of inter-agency excitement for the upcoming Kona Ice campaign. Stay tuned for next month’s seminar!

See More Posts