ishmaels corner

Category: Communications Industry


Translating the News Release on the Merger of Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe

The two agencies pen literally thousands of news releases for their clients each year, many addressing M&A. How tough can it be to apply this expertise to their own announcement? Of course, what the news release states doesn’t necessarily align with reality. As a public service, I’ve addressed the news release distributed over Business Wire …more

Will the Communications Industry Change Because of President Trump?

Before addressing the question, let’s consider the high-level objectives of the typical communications campaign. Increase awareness, often in the form of media coverage. Strive to fortify the brand. Of course, the ultimate goal is to win people over to your way of thinking so they “buy.” By this definition, Trump’s unconventional approach to communications has …more

Channeling “Jerry Maguire” in the Client/Agency Relationship

Every person in a consultancy — and not just a PR agency … could be any type of professional services firm — has experienced a client who adds what we’ll call “extra obstacles” to achieving success. It’s not personal (usually). Sometimes, it’s simply a byproduct of the company’s culture. Sometimes, the client’s boss finds comfort …more

How Sundance Helped Me Realize Communications IS Art

Based on back-of-the-envelope math, I figure I’ve worked with more than 1,000 client contacts over my career. That’s a lot of people, especially when you factor in that I’m a closet introvert (“solitude, where can I find a slice of solitude?”). Yet, I don’t need a calculator to tell me that Wendy Zajack lands in …more

Now, Here’s a Media Relations Strategy You Don’t See Every Day

Thailand’s prime minister decided that there was a better way for handling those pesky questions from reporters. At a press event promoting Children’s Day — yes, there’s a holiday in Thailand that encourages children to have fun … that’s an order — Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha deployed a life-sized cardboard cutout of himself. He then …more

When Price is the No. 1 Criterion in Selecting a Communications Consultancy

Whether you’re buying soft-serve yogurt, a car or communication services, everyone wants value. After walking through the doors of the Willow Glen Creamery multiple times, I still calculate the per-ounce price for a mini vs. small vs. medium size to ascertain the best value. Yet, the per-unit price shouldn’t be the primary driver behind the …more

And I Thought Media Properties Had Stopped Aspiring to Be PR Agencies

Look, I recognize it’s been a rugged 20 years or so for the publishing industry. Since Craigslist showed up on their doorstep and eviscerated classified advertising, media properties searching for new revenue streams seem to have a certain Ponce de León quality to them. Some would argue that in a world where people expect to …more

Revisiting the 10 Symbols of PR Disruption

Back in 2015, I wrote that PR’s version of the Industrial Revolution had begun. I made the point that the upheaval in the business of communications was redefining our world in similar way that manufacturing did in the 18th century and captured 10 symbols as proof points. Now, two plus years later, let’s revisit those …more

Do PR People Get Storytelling?

Every PR agency with a pulse touts its storytelling chops. You half expect carnival barkers shouting, “Step into our tent, and we’ll show you how to tap the magic powers of storytelling to connect with the outside world, eat canapes at Davos and pal around with Anderson Cooper.” Yet, the vast majority of content developed …more