When a tragedy occurs, PR professionals should understand that there is a fine line between an opportunity and shameless self-promotion. This week, with the death of beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams, we had the unfortunate opportunity to see many practitioners blatantly step over the line for the benefit of their clients and organizations. While some misdirected tactics may be a lesson in how not to respond to a tragedy, we have benefited from some appropriate responses.
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When done properly a seamless public relations campaign can generate the levels of exposure and publicity for your brand or product that most practitioners dream about nightly. You’re able to position your brand in the best way possible and you leave your target audiences buzzing. However, when you rely on a one-shot publicity stunt that goes wrong, public relations professionals are often placed in the line of fire by company executives and (worse) the media. The situation may arise from a PR pro utilizing a misguided pitch or pitching a product that isn’t quite up to snuff, in either case the results are almost always negative.
This week on PRSAY, we discussed the obstacles one faces when trying to re-enter the public relations field after “time off.” Among the many reasons why this can be a difficult task is the simple fact that the industry is constantly evolving and a major factor of that evolution is social media; if you’re not paying attention, you’ll be behind the curve. Between staff meetings, end of the month reports, time sheets and client work, public relations professionals must also keep up with the latest news, tips and tricks affecting the social platforms and how they can affect daily tactical responsibilities.
Have you been working late hours and dreaming of your upcoming summer getaway? If you’re stuck in dream mode, there’s a good possibility that recent airline news will turn your sweet vacation dreams into nightmares. It seems like there’s a new airplane crash reported every day, and when there isn’t, airlines are making headline news for customer service nightmares.
How do you keep yourself refreshed? Sometimes you refresh your look with a new haircut or a wardrobe upgrade. Maybe you rebrand yourself professionally or change to a new line of work. Brands often try to escape the status quo by looking to a refresh or redesign as the perfect solution. It is typically a great way to reintroduce a company or product and capture attention by becoming the news of the day. However, brands must be careful to make sure the news is positive and that the company does not become a laughingstock.
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PRSAY is a forum for PRSA members and other public relations professionals to engage in a dialogue with PRSA leaders, exchange viewpoints, and share perspectives on issues of concern to the Society and the public relations industry as a whole. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of PRSA.