Is This PR? Mark Sanford

December 15, 2009

Is there really an introduction necessary?  Mark Sanford, our respected governor of our great conservative state, a ‘maverick’ who refused the federal stimulus money, was caught ‘red-handed’ traveling from Argentina to visit his mistress. 

Before that, he was MIA.  When asked over Father’s Day weekend in June 2009, his wife stated even SHE didn’t know where he was.  

Bad PR for the governor’s office.  Bad PR for South Carolina.  Really Bad PR for Mark Sanford.  

The man who many thought was a decent, conservative, Christian, positive, pork-barrel slashing man, was having an affair in Buenos Aires.  The press had a field day.  Not only that, he was recently charged with breaking ethic’s violations within the governor’s office for travel.

The best part is his wife, Jenny Sanford.  A woman of independent means, she didn’t do the usual politician’s wife stance by ‘standing by her man.’  In fact she didn’t stand near him at all.  She let him take the fall all by himself.  Good PR for Jenny.  Bad PR for Mark.


Is This PR? Government Bail-out and Fat Cat Salaries

December 14, 2009

President Obama authorized a bail-out of immense proportions to bail out AIG and Goldman-Sachs and other ‘too big to fail’ businesses.  The fear would be that such a large industry would cause the economy to collapse.  

Unfortunately, the bailout didn’t have a bonus ‘cap’ on the strings attached.  Therefore, CEO’s and others that allowed businesses to fail paid themselves a ‘fat cat’ bonus with the bailout funds.  

“I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat-cat bankers on Wall Street.”  This is what Obama told 60 minutes during a recent interview.

Is this PR? Tiger Woods

December 14, 2009

The ultimate BAD PR is the Tiger Woods fiasco.  Admitting extra-marital  indiscretions, Tiger Woods’ endorsements are at risk. Considered the world’s greatest golfer by many, he endorses many high end products.  One endorsement at stake is High Carolina, a upper echelon subdivision in North Carolina that he has personally endorsed. The problem is that on the High Carolina website he states that it’s a good place for his family and for him to raise his children. He states,  “With a wife and two kids, your priorities change …”


Employee Relations

November 25, 2009

Don’t Bite The Hand That Feeds You


The above quote is one that is used numerously at work places.  The quote is saying not to insult the giver of the money or you might not get it again.  Although it seems simple in theory – sometimes it is difficult to NOT bite the hand that feeds.  First of all, employees are needing to understand that they are valued people who are seen as pertinent to the daily operation of the particular organization.

Is This PR – Employee relations/comm.

November 25, 2009

Employee communication is a vital aspect of a successful workplace.  Without it, there is chaos and confusion.  Managers and administration need to be certain they are conveying vital information to their employees.  

I have personally worked in an office where communication was awful.  The confusion and morale suffered immensely.  It wasn’t only that the employees were uninformed, they felt as if they weren’t valuable enough to be ‘in the loop.’  Of course there is information that only administrators need to know and there is information that all employees need to be aware of.  

The following link is an interesting tidbit of information regarding employee relations and communication:




Corporate Social Responsibility

November 16, 2009

An example of Corporate Social Responsibility would be the BMW Pro-Am Golf Tournament.  The proceeds go to local area charities and organizations.  This benefits the community and provides a ‘feel good’ attitude about purchasing BMW products.

Corporate Social Responsibility

November 16, 2009

What exactly are the social responsibilities of a company?   Why are corporations looked upon for answers?

The social responsibilities of any corporation are many.  In order for them to function, provide salaries and make profits they must be supported by customers.  The corporations should then ‘give back’ to their customers through supporting local charities and/or organizations.  They should have an environmental concern for their companies impact upon the area.  This is important to their customers and their critics alike.  Over the years, many companies have been found guilty of destroying lakes, streams, fish, fowl, etc.  Companies in the past would have gotten away with the destructions.  In today’s conscious environment, companies that are found guilty of such destruction will be fined and/or suffer economically due to their decisions.

A good PR for social responsibility for corporations is to be on the ‘look out’ constantly for possible debacles.  Today there is  no excuse for such behavior.  PR is important to a corporation even if they ‘accidentally’ found guilty of environmental destruction.  In the case of an accidental issue – PR is highly important for the corporation to regain any ground with consumers.  

The following link is a lesson in how NOT to be a responsible corporation.  Twelve Mile River, a tributary of Lake Hartwell, was used as a dumping ground for PCBs approximately 30 years ago by the Sangamo Capacitor Company in Pickens County.  The lake clean-up is still in progress…

Is This PR? PR and The Law

November 12, 2009

The First Amendment states:


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof … or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…


The funny thing is that is says Congress Shall Make No Law …

But here we are … having laws against certain forms of speech.  For example, some of those forms of speech not protected by the Constitution are hate speech, obscenity, defamation, perjury, etc.


This is all fine and good. However, the First Amendment plainly states that Congress shall make no law…

How free is free expression?  Apparently not very.

also see




Crisis communications

November 4, 2009

As an older student, I probably have a few more memories of crisis communications then most students, i.e.,

The Tylenol Scare (1982) – Chicago –  7 people died after taking cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules.  The perpetrator has never been found.  However, the incident led to Johnson & Johnson making better tamper-resistant packaging.  Tylenol rebounded within a year of the incidents due to their handling of the situation.

 Fried Chicken Head (McDonalds), November, 2000.  A woman found a fried chicken head in her box of nuggets at a Newport News McDonalds.  



Accordingly, companies can survive these kind of incidents.  Mega companies probably more so than small family-owned business who can’t afford the media salvage.



Most companies plug along with no problems whatsoever through out their duration.  However, there are the few that suffer major setbacks.

News Releases – Week 9

October 21, 2009

A news release is a snippet of information that is designed to communicate information.  In order for it to be a ‘good’ news release, it must conform to AP style formatting.  This means that it must be newsworthy, it must have an ‘angle’, it must contain the 5W and the H, it should have quotations, it must have contact information.  These are just a few of the things that are important in writing a news release.  


You must have something that ‘grabs’ the attention of the readers to want to see what your article is about.  If you can’t capture the interest of the reader with one sentence, then you will have problems keeping their attention through several paragraphs.  A catchy topic sentence if important to the survival of your news release.  

For example, should you have a story of a dog that traveled 500 miles on foot to find it’s former home

Okay:  Dog Goes Home

Better:  Dog Walks To Go Home

Best:  Dog Walks 500 Miles to Go Home has some information on how to write a news release.  For better examples, check out http://www.WYFF.cin and look for AP news stories as an example on what and how to write.