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Parents, Marriage and Lessons for Business (and Life)

Our younger son gets married on Saturday. At a time when everyone looks ahead, I decided to also look backward to the marriage of Marv and Ruth Hoffman. The photo above shows my parents on their wedding day flanked by their moms. Their story is a common one for their generation — their parents arriving …more

The One Quality That Unites All Brands

The key to branding isn’t just knowing who you are and what you stand for. It also calls for communicating those very qualities to the outside world. Take the Singaporean store in the picture. Is there any question about its value proposition? Closer to home, everyone seems to think there’s a deep lesson in Donald …more

Building Bridges in the Year of the Dog

I’m convinced that the secret sauce for global PR campaigns is collaboration. It stands to the reason that the better folks know each other — even those halfway across the world — the better the collaboration. That’s why we invest in a program called “Building Bridges,” allowing staff members to travel overseas and work out …more

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

Journalist Compares a Bad Media Pitch with One That Has a Fighting Chance

For those who toil on the front lines of media relations, it’s easy to drift into a Jim Carrey-like optimism. . PR: “What are the chances that you’ll write about this pitch?” Journalist: “Not good” PR: “You mean not good like one out of a hundred?” Journalist: “I’d say more like one out of a …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