ishmaels corner

Category: Bad Stuff


Micro Moments in Brand Building: The Good, the Bad and the Unattractive

Companies underestimate the power of micro moments in brand building. As the world and specifically business communications increasingly tilt toward the digital sphere, . This holds true for all companies, whether B2B or consumer. Starting with “the bad and unattractive,” an interaction with LinkedIn last week reminded me of this point. I think I’m on …more

What Happens to Journalism When It’s All About the “Bass”

A “turn-the-crank” mentality to generate a relentless stream of articles shapes journalism at many media properties. Of course quality suffers. While you can find a slew of articles in which journalists lament the issue in theoretical terms, here’s an example from a major publication that makes it all too real. Check out “How Chick-fil-A’s Restaurants …more

Sifting Through Journalists’ Gripes and Grumbles for PR Lessons

Since I embarked on my PR adventure in 1983, everything has changed. Except one dynamic. Journalists griped about PR folks back in 1983, and they’re still griping today. To be objective, the bad behavior of a select few cultivates “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” (yes, I did take away a few more morsels …more

How a Personal Touch in Communications Failed Big Time

I have this theory that as our world increasingly tilts toward the digital side, the human touch, the personal touch, becomes more valuable. It’s only a matter of time before a newly minted Stanford MBA makes the rounds on Sand Hill Road trying to raise venture capital for the radical idea of bringing back the …more

J. C. Penney Apology Ad: How Not to Fall on Your Sword

Americans love a good apology. Show even a modicum of sincerity, and all is forgiven. J. C. Penney and its apology ad is certainly banking on this dynamic. Unfortunately, the strategy is flawed, and the execution is worse. We’ve simplified the chain of events in the aerial view below: Did I miss something? I thought …more

TV Report Triggers Burger Crisis at McDonalds in China

Chris Tang, our Asia Pacific managing director based in Beijing, has years of experience in advising clients during times of crisis. The crisis a few months ago involving McDonald’s caught her attention. Here, she shares a mini case study on the episode and what McDonald’s did right to avoid a long-term disaster. By Chris Tang …more

What’s The Story With Netflix?

Let’s start with the positive side. Netflix customers passionately care about the service. Every time Kellogg’s raises the price of Pop-Tarts, you don’t even hear a whimper. But the Netflix customer base responded with the emotional fervor of a South American futbol match. Why? Take a look at the blog post announcing the pricing change. After laying out …more