Co-founder of Round Earth Consulting. Communications consultant with 20 years in tech sector in US & Europe.
All I can say is Yahoo must REALLY want people to quit. Screaming. In droves.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Yahoo! Letter: Was Their Communications Team Consulted?
I've been working in PR for 22 years and part of the problem is that the hardest part of our job - pitching - is always left to junior people who may be smart but lack the industry experience, business experience, life experience and emotional intelligence at that stage of their careers to develop an intelligent proposal. Senior people to ensure that the infractions laid out in this blog never happen. I have read and taken seriously a lot of these types of blog / rants and even recently took a course from an experienced business/tech journalist on how to write better pitches. One piece of advice he gave to ensure a very high success rate was to spend at least 2 hours researching each one. I have found that is about the right amount of time, especially if you're trying to pitch something speculatively that's not in response to a listed opportunity and ensure that you have the resources available to really follow the idea through. However after two hours of obvious labour tailoring a pitch to an individual with an offer of exclusive content, I do need to know definitively whether or not it has been accepted or if I should go back to the drawing board and tailor it to another publication. I don't want to offer another publication the same exclusive content only to get an e-mail from a journalist a week later saying "yes, I'd like to do something with that." At the same time, I can't give everyone a week to respond or nothing will get done. Journalists and bloggers are busy, so I would recommend developing some kind of code system to reject well-crafted pitches that only takes a second, like 'NI' for not interested.
4 months, 1 week ago on I Hate PR People: The Rules of Pitching Bloggers and Media
I'm sorry Gini, that must have been hard. Cycling is still a a wonderful sport and there are some amazing new role models like (my favourite) Bradley Wiggins. Sometimes an institution needs a crisis in order to have a renaissance. By the way, I think your advice was spot on. I hope he takes it.
7 months, 3 weeks ago on The Lance Armstong PR Crisis
I agree that KitchenAid handled this beautifully, thanks for sharing the story. I don't use Twitter for personal communications at all anymore as I don't feel that I can afford the risk to my business if get my audiences mixed up. My own solution is to use Facebook for strictly personal use and Twitter for work, which I realise isn't practical for everyone. Even so, one of my best friend's mother recently told me off on Facebook for posting too much politcal stuff she didn't like, which made me feel about 8 years old!
8 months, 2 weeks ago on KitchenAid Handles Offensive Tweet Crisis Extraordinarily Well
That is not only bad practice and bad manners, it genuinely creates business risk and for that reason should raise a bright red flag to an HR department. If you expect these people to represent the company, you might have to accept responsibility for them and their actions. What if the blogger was injured on the stand, or harrassed by a Samsung employee? What if a blogger decided to get drunk on the stand and spout obsencities to passing trade? You get the idea. It just ain't clever.
9 months, 2 weeks ago on Samsung Threatens Bloggers and Provides a Valuable Lesson
I totally agree. I take it one step further and think it is kind of passive-aggressively arrogant and disrespectful to wear jeans (and yes, hoodies too) because it sends a subtle message that you do not care what your audience thinks. Granted when I started my carreer in PR, the women in my agency were not even allowed to wear trouser-suits, so I'm glad we've relaxed the dress code a little. Especially now that we always have to crawl under boardroom tables to plug in our equipment, ha ha!!
10 months ago on Jeans Not Appropriate for Business Meetings
Great article Gini. I'm SO proud of the female Olympic athletes this year. The style in which women compete is very different to men, which makes the whole competition much more interesting. Everyone I spoke to agreed the women's Olympic road race was so much more exciting than the men's this time. Much more intense and close to the finish.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on London Olympics Show Female Athletes Fighting Stereotypes
All I can say is 'REALLY?'
10 months, 3 weeks ago on The Chick-fil-A PR Crisis
SING IT SISTER! I couldn't agree more!
11 months ago on Marissa Mayer: Why Are We Still Having this Conversation?
I loved it. It appeals to my (acquired) British sense of irony, but it also makes an intelligent point. Score!
12 months ago on CBS Issues Fake (and Totally Awesome) News Release
"Thank you for the question. Although we didn't come here to talk about this type of issue today, I will say that we take these matters very seriously and are in the process of investigating the situation so unfortunately I can't comment further at this time." HELLO!!!
1 year ago on PR Pro Charged with Barricading Reporter in Room
Having also been there in the late 90s, one thing I'll say for this bubble is that it's made of slightly thicker soap. Some of those dot.com businesses in the 90s were seriously flimsy and you didn't even bother asking to see the business plan because you just knew what the young Swedish Harvard grad in the black mock turtleneck was going to tell you, or worse, doodle on a cocktail napkin. This time, the business plans are there but I think many are based on shaky foundations. As in the dot.com boom I think tech startups in this boom are pinning too high expectations on advertising revenue without having a tangible way of forecasting what a genuine commercial outcome could be. Advertising and social media remains tricky. Consumers are starting to accept that it's necessary to support free products and services, but put one foot wrong and trust and credibility go right out the window (Groupon). Also some social media trends are fun at first, but then many dabblers get bored and realise they need to go back to their day jobs. So Bubble 2 is interesting and a major improvement on 1, but I do think we should brace ourselves for another burst.
1 year, 1 month ago on Are We Nearing a Tech Bubble Burst?
@HowieSPM Totally agree with your point about hypocrisy and so-called family values. I'm all about peace so don't wish anyone to get beat up on jail. But I do sincerely hope some of the other inmates fart in their general direction.
1 year, 1 month ago on The PR Nightmare for Walmart
As an obsessive watcher of the Leveson Inquiry on ethics in the media, which has at its heart, the analysis of News International, a subsidiary of News Corp., I am utterly fascinated by this topic. News Corp is now up to its neck in doo doo because employees of News International have been, among other things, including phone and internet hacking, have been bribing the POLICE to obtain exclusive access to information about crimes in order to sell more newspapers. In many documented cases paparazzi arrived at crime scenes BEFORE the actual police. It is a crime and assault on democracy of EPIC proportions and you can't tell me for a second that the Murdochs were too busy at their high-level meetings to recall why a series of humongous payments to private individuals continued to be rubber-stamped. But unfortunately the corporate lawyers tend to commandeer the communications strategies in these circumstances and their instincts are to do everything in their power to keep the genie in the bottle. However as the News Corp case study reveals, when the truth inevitably escapes in a slow, painful, and in this case, mind-blowing series of extraordinary revelations, the ultimate damage to both the reputation and the bottom line becomes much greater.
I'm afraid the only voice that talks here is money so yes, I think IBM hast to pull the sponsorship. Otherwise what kind of message does that send to all of IBM's smart women? This made the top morning news is London, by the way so it's not really doing their PR any good.
1 year, 2 months ago on Augusta National Faces Scrutiny on “No Women” Rule
@ExtremelyAvg Oh dear, sorry to hear that. Good for you for not letting it get you down too much. I don't think employees always appreciate the sacrifices small business leaders make. The more I talk about this the more stories I hear of bosses and owners giving up their pay entirely or taking big pay cuts in order to meet payroll.
1 year, 3 months ago on Cash Is King Or You Are Dead
Oh girl, did I EVER learn that lesson the hard way and it makes me feel so much better to know that I'm not alone here on Spin Sucks. At my last company, where I was managing director for a European team, I was filled with dread and loathing every time we got close to payroll time and even though it wasn't my company, I was first to step forward and sacrifice my own pay in order to take care of others. Oh the glamour! I suffered from every physical ailment from migraines, to interminable colds to stomach problems to depression. With amazing support and mentoring from our accountants we got out of the hole, but not before a lot of collateral damage and restructuring took place. When my business partner (who went through that hell with me) and I started our own company, I declared loudly "AS GOD AS MY WITNESS, WE WILL NEVER HAVE CASH FLOW PROBLEMS AGAIN!" And although we operate on what some would deem conservative principles, our cash flow now runs like clockwork and I have never been less stressed. It starts with being very selective about with whom we do business and being very, very clear up front about payment terms and our need to get paid within terms. A lot of getting paid on time is in the details; making sure we have the right accounting contacts, the right information on our invoices, including clear detail of activities so there are no questions that hold up payment. Accountants can be a great source of support when it comes to managing cash flow and I would encourage other business owners to tap into their knowledge and experience.
After reading the full transcript of what Rush Limbaugh said, I really have the creeps and would be genuinely terrified to be alone in a room with him. Although I do not condone people like Bill Maher calling Sarah Palin a "see you next tuesday" as @delwilliams pointed out that is totally different. This was an ordinary student who wanted to make a comment about public policy versus a very large, rich and public bully with a huge following who labels her her a slut and thinks she should post public videos about what she is doing with her contraceptives (sex videos right?). That is vile and goes way beyond the acceptable range of freedom of expression. His behaviour was bullying, hateful and most importantlycould actually put the student in harms way if one of her male colleagues actually agreed with him. I don't care how much he apologises in response to pressure and would only accept it if was truly sorry and had a genuine change of heart. I hope they take him off the air.
1 year, 3 months ago on Rush Limbaugh’s Non-Apology Creates Bigger PR Crisis
TonyBennettginidietrichjasonkonopinskiSeanMcGinnis Can I just wear a hat instead?
1 year, 3 months ago on How Not to Get Promoted At Work
ginidietrichHowie Goldfarb Don't worry I stuck my foot out and tripped him