I’m sure the Vice President of Corporate Communications at FedEx takes some pride in living in Memphis, and I imagine he wasn’t thrilled to have a high-priced vendor consultant denigrate it. But he probably also is wondering why his communications staff has such low self-esteem (and so much free time) that they find it necessary to write a formal (and catty) rebuttal and email it to all the bigwigs at FedEx and Ketchum.
And one last thought: Don’t be stupid and tweet bad things about clients. You’d think a VP at a big agency would know better.
By Jen Elving
Senior PR & Communications Manager, Visit Denver
Consumer prediction: Most consumers like to trust the system – it helps them conserve mental and emotional resources, so we can apply those to more intimate, personal decisions. But right now consumers feel betrayed, and it’s making communication with them more difficult. Companies with rich brand character and a quality product will maintain their open dialogues; however, new companies or those without a solid communication channel will need, more than ever, to offer transparency, accuracy and sincerity in their messages. Hope is on the horizon, but consumers need to feel they can trust a company before they will invest in it.
Public relations prediction: Many companies look at recession and think of slashing communication budgets – it’s the first thing to go, according to several CEOs. And at first glance, it would appear the fiscally responsible decision to make, so you won’t see as many big mobile tours, branded guerilla tactics or in-market stunting. Those of us in the communication business know, however, that recession is the time when open communication needs to be enhanced. With tighter budgets and less interest in consuming – especially in travel, luxury, and certain consumer goods – public relations efforts need to be more targeted and more in-tune with the value-add for consumers in order to be effective.
Former Post/News business reporter and current Colorado Media Matters editorial director Bill Menezes will show off his charisma and brainpower on Jeopardy tonight (6 p.m, Channel 7), and he even gives a shout-out to West Highlands in his promo (select the link on the bottom left). So how did he do? Menezes tells Bill Husted, “My 30 minutes of fame were well spent and I didn’t embarrass the town.” Since I know PR people rarely leave the office before 8 p.m, have someone Tivo it for you.
PRSA Colorado is hosting a panel discussion January 21 on remaining relevant during an economic downturn (details here). Panelists will be Tom Hoog, senior counselor to the Chairman at Hill & Knowlton; PR employment consultant Andrew Hudson; and Smooch Repovich Reynolds, founder & CEO of The Repovich-Reynolds Group.
Based on the number of irate comments this blog receives about TV news anchors being fired/demoted (see here, here, here and here), I can confidently say that the first station to package Molly Hughes with Steve Kelley is going to hit the ratings motherlode.
Andrew Hudson is out this week with a not-so-modest proposal to enact a Newspaper Tax to “to subsidize the operations of statewide and local newspapers.” To Andrew, propping up newspapers that are important to communities is no different than subsidies that have propped up Denver’s symphony, opera, public transportation system and NFL team. To get the dissenting opinion, check out the blog post from GBSM’s Steve Silvers, who argues that “the potential closing of the Rocky Mountain News represents the market-driven loss of a delivery product, not the wholesale elimination of news and journalism.”
Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper publisher and owner of 9News (KUSA-TV), My20 (KTVD-TV) and the Fort Collins Coloradoan, announced it will “force thousands of its employees to take a week off without pay in an effort to avoid layoffs.” So we may find out who’s at the bottom of the totem pole at 9News in the coming weeks if the cuts extend to on-air talent.
With “mid-January” officially upon us, Scripps officials said attempts to sell the Rocky Mountain News could extend into next week or even next month as “there’s no specific timetable” for evaluating bids. David Milstead and Jeff Smith at the Rocky have the details.
By Jon Pushkin
President, Pushkin PR
Public relations will play an important role in Colorado and nationally in 2009. PR pros will craft and communicate important messages promoting commitment, teamwork, sacrifice and tolerance to all Americans.
Wartime propaganda and partisan bickering will fade away and be replaced by a new spirit of hope, innovation and confidence that will spur economic recovery and restore America’s reputation in the world community.