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United Airlines’ Latest Customer Letter Hits the Right Notes

It’s easy to pile on United. More than the mistakes, it’s the type of mistakes, lacking that quality known as common sense. I’ve certainly taken my shots at United over the years with posts ranging from “The Worst Customer Service Narrative in the History of Branding” to the recent “United Enters Third Stage of a …more

United Enters the Third Stage of a PR Grieving: the Shake Down

It’s been a rough week for United Airlines. When my mom — who is still getting the hang of this thing called the internet — asks if I’ll continue flying on United, you know the PR debacle has reached the masses. I have this theory that a PR crisis typically breaks down into five stages: …more

Breaking Down the Failure of Thought Leadership

Communicators have picked up the thought leadership religion. With demand for product news similar to Vote-Hillary T-shirts, many have figured out that thought leadership can bring salvation, a door opener to media coverage.Yet, for all the talk about thought leadership, there can be a huge gap between the theory and what happens on the execution …more

Risk-taking and Starting a Company Don’t Always Go Together

The Agency celebrates its 30th anniversary later this year. Drawing attention to this milestone, I plan to periodically write about the adventure — journey is such a calm noun — starting with the launch of the Agency. Most people tend to think of those who start a company as risk-takers. So what does it mean …more

Leadership and Zigging When Everyone Else is Zagging

I will always remember November 14, 2014, and it has nothing to do with my birthday. That was the day that Mike Sottak called to say he was accepting our job offer to run our European operation. Since we entered the European market in the late 1990s, the Agency’s experience had resembled a roller-coaster ride …more

Avoiding the Unkindly Cut in Business Writing

I don’t smoke. I rarely drink more than two Old Fashioneds at a sitting. If I have a weakness, it’s called WG Yogurt. Their root beer yogurt deserves a Michelin star — “creamy with hints of cherry tree bark.” What does this have to do with business writing? During my last stop at WG Yogurt, …more

Proving That Life is Stranger Than Fiction in the Communications Sphere

  You can’t make this stuff up. Raking through my storytelling and PR posts, I’ve curated a list of seven “life is stranger than fiction” moments. 1. Media Squeeze — and Watermelon Explosion — Described by the NY Times Presents an Opportunity for PR BuzzFeed proved what everyone has always believed in theory. If you stretch …more

The Top 10 Storytelling Posts for 2016 (Part II)

Breaking the Top 10 storytelling posts for 2016 into two parts, I published the first part last week. Here’s the second part, again reflecting the varied facets that make up today’s communications in the business world. In spite of the massive changes in our industry, media relations and PR storytelling still matter, an apt way …more