Flack's Revenge

Breaking Down PR’s Fourth Wall with ABM

Flack's Revenge

The fourth wall is a figurative one at the foot of a stage (the other three walls shape the room of the set). Actors breach this wall when they talk to the audience. Similarly, PR is being challenged to break through mass communications and take the message directly to individuals. .

The Pandemic Forever Changed these Words

Flack's Revenge

It’s hard to think of anything in our lifetimes that’s so taken over our lives and attentions. We’re all trying to adapt, with the best minds tackling the Covid health and economic crises, and focused on getting us back to work and the “new normal,” whatever that means.

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Is that paid PR Opportunity worth it? 5 Experts Chime In

Flack's Revenge

They come in various flavors. The too-good-to-be-true TV spot. The “Pssst I can get you into XXXX, guaranteed, just pay me $YYYY.” The endless procession of awards and articles with price tags attached. Many PR people reflexively dismiss these and spend a lot of time explaining why to clients.

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Start Making Sense: Helping Tech Brands tell their Stories

Flack's Revenge

I love the band Talking Heads, and saw them for first time in college many years ago. Back then, I thought they had a cool name – but only found out that it refers to the disembodied heads of yakking newscasters when my friend and fellow concert-goer explained. Fast forward many years later, and I am afraid I am becoming a talking head on tech startup PR and branding.

Harness the Power of Influencers and Advocates

Learn how to find and use influencers and advocates to gain buyer's trust on your behalf.

PR – An Essential Business? Tips for Keeping Your Sanity, Job and Relationships in a Pandemic

Flack's Revenge

It’s dark in here. Let me find the light switch. There you go. Hey, where is everybody? It sure is quiet. These are the thoughts you might have, if you work in PR in the Age of Coronavirus. People are bunkered down. No one knows for sure when the crisis will end. Media and social channels can’t focus on anything else. We are all adjusting to the new, shut-in normal.

I‘m in PR: What’s the Big Idea?

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They huddle around a conference room table. The lights go dark. The 35 mm slide projector floods the screen. It’s backlight shines an eerie glow on the presenter’s lower face. This is not just some an ad man (or woman). It’s the sermon from the mount. Or maybe Dracula.

Deborah Weinstein on the Challenges Confronting PR and Digital Marketing

Flack's Revenge

Today I share Deborah Weinstein’s answers to questions about the challenges confronting social media marketing and digital communications. It is the latest in my series of interviews with industry experts (see this post , which sets the stage). My good friend Judy Gombita introduced us, and I am glad that she did. As you will see below, Deborah offers great insight. She leads Toronto-based Strategic Objectives with co-founder and sister, Judy Lewis.

United we Brand? Top Reads on Corporate Activism

Flack's Revenge

Should CEOs speak out on social, civil and political issues? Should brands take a stand? Pixabay. Back in the day (meaning just a few years ago) the answers were easier. It was a more innocent time and easier for businesses to step up to the plate when government was not doing its job. The Edelman Trust Barometer (an annual gauge of trust in institutions) has long ranked CEOs higher than others. . Today it’s more complicated.

Why AI won’t Replace PR

Flack's Revenge

I was watching 60 Minutes this weekend, which ran a segment about AI that highlighted China’s growing clout in the tech (Silicon Valley, hope you were watching; you should be scared, very scared). They interviewed Kai-Fu Lee, the so-called Oracle of AI who boasts a Ph.D., Apple, Microsoft, and Google stints, and runs a Chinese VC firm that’s minted a number of AI unicorns. He painted an awe-inspiring picture of the state and direction of AI.

Top 15 Free PR Ideas to Grow Your Online Business

You've got a great idea, you've built your killer team, and you've maybe even gone through the first round or two of funding.

Tales from the Tech PR Bunker

Flack's Revenge

PIxabay. Folks, I know I haven’t been writing here as much, Sorry for the interruption. These are unusual times. But the show must go on, right? People are stuck at home and clamoring for distraction and new episodes, er, posts. So pardon the DIY production, the dirty socks on the floor.

Google, you Complete Me! (A warm Thanksgiving tale)

Flack's Revenge

It started several months ago. I was writing a Gmail when grey words mysteriously appeared ahead of my typing. “Hmmm, must be some new functionality,” I thought. Then: “Hey, this just might be interesting and useful!”. The suggested words did fit. But I was stuck, kind of.

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How to Contain PR Fallout from a Cyber-attack

Flack's Revenge

Fusion PR works extensively in the cyber security space. We are often asked about how to handle the PR fallout from breaches. What are the similarities and differences with other kinds of crisis management? I decided to answer these questions in this post, with input from our team. Like other PR Crises? A cyber-attack is a special kind of crisis. It has some things in common with other types (e.g. product liability, malfeasance) in that the company’s reputation can also be at stake.

How to Overcome Startup PR Challenges

Flack's Revenge

Pixabay. Some may assume that those who work in technology PR have similar gigs – but the assignments can vary substantially. First, almost every company is a tech company today, right? So just adding “technology” to PR does not shed much light. Job requirements for those pitching consumer tech products may be more like general CPG. Getting press coverage for enterprise tech vs. chips vs. telcos are all very different challenges.

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How to “Kill It” During Your Next Big Change

When it comes to change communication, employees need your help to understand what’s happening. Use these four steps to help employees navigate change.

Taking on the PR Agency Haters

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It is once again de rigueur to slam PR agencies. I learned this from a prospect who clued me in to a podcast and Forbes article (the former by uber influencers who should know better; the latter was generally negative on agencies but had some great points). Before I go further, sure, I agree that PR does have its bad actors, just like any profession; and don’t have an issue with fair criticism. I am against clueless flaming. Below I list a few examples, including ones I’ve covered before.

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Cover Your Assets to win in PR

Flack's Revenge

We are often asked what it takes to succeed in PR, and about the client effort required. They’re great questions; the second part acknowledges shared responsibility. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay. I’ve found that most just want great results, they’re not trying to milk an agency. But PR newbies may think that it will be easy – their groundbreaking news will almost sell itself; or that a proactive PR firm can do it all with minimal client input.

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Flack's Revenge - Untitled Article

Flack's Revenge

Neal Schaffer on Social Media Challenges & Opportunities for 2019. I was thrilled when Neal Schaffer agreed to participate in my series about challenges facing social media marketing. Neal is a social media speaker and consultant ranked by Forbes and others as a top influencer. I had the privilege of writing for his Maximize Social Business blog for three years, and have also spoken at several of his Social Tool Summit conferences.

He fired me and Launched my Career in Tech PR

Flack's Revenge

People sometimes wonder how I started out in engineering and wound up in PR. Something that happened recently really made an impression and brought my career journey full circle, 35 years later. Read on to learn more, and I hope you enjoy the story! Geeking out with Audio. I was walking the NAB show aisles at the Javits Center in NYC a few weeks ago, taking in the exhibits and scouting new business when I decided to check out the neighboring AES (audio engineering society) show.

Content Curation’s Last stand?

Flack's Revenge

Quora recently sent me an email asking about my favorite content curation examples. Image from Pixabay. In years past, answering this would have been a layup (I suppose that’s why I was on their list). Now I was strangely stumped, even disinterested. It’s not that I’m out of touch.

Just DON’T It: Brands Fight Culture Wars at their Peril

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Should brands get involved in culture wars? E.g. some thought that Nike was very shrewd in hiring Colin Kaepernick as a brand ambassador. He’s polarizing, but the bold move seemed to sync with their brand. For the uninitiated, Kaepernick is the football player who got lots of kudos and crap for sitting during the national anthem at games and inspiring others to do the same.

Fostering Insurtech Success at GILS 2019

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I enjoyed attending the Global Insurtech Leaders Summit – Insurtech Insights in NYC last week. The event featured two days of great sessions and panels led by key execs from startups, carriers, journalists and investors. Insurtechs demonstrated their wares, and it was a great forum for networking and making connections. The Brella app made it easy to arrange 15-minute “speed dating” meetings at tables set up for this purpose.

Startup PR Myths Debunked

Flack's Revenge

It has been almost a year since I blogged about common startup PR myths. That post drew from NY Tech Meetup mail list discussions and cited arguments for and against PR. Since then, I’ve run across a few more myths. So I thought I’d update that post. You Don’t Need PR if you have a Great Product. This myth is based on the old cliche’ that if you can only build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door. In other words, marketing doesn’t count.

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Next Steps in Social Media Marketing

Flack's Revenge

If social media were a brand, it’s one that I think most would agree has been tarnished. The reputation hits come from many directions. Sure, Facebook’s troubles have been front and center. It’s nothing short of mind boggling, the mischief and misdeeds that run rampant there. And it’s not just about Facebook or even social media. Others have come under fire too, for their content and privacy issues, in related areas of online like general Web, Google, and mobile.

The Call was Perfect! The PR pitch, Even Better!!

Flack's Revenge

Recently, we’ve heard a lot about a phone call between a certain U.S. leader and a Ukrainian head of state. The call was said to be perfect at least by the former, and it must be true because he’s said it not once, but over and over again. Some disagree, and there’s controversy on this (and even a non-proverbial act of Congress). But without getting all political, let’s cut some slack.

How to Social in 2019: Experts Share their Views

Flack's Revenge

Last month I interviewed top PR and social media experts about the challenges facing online marketing. The following recap includes some of the juiciest quotes from Neal Schaffer , Frank Strong , Drew Neisser , and Deb Weinstein. I also share my views (not necessarily the agency’s ) and pose additional questions. Finally, I include links to other stories I’ve seen on the topic. Please continue the conversation and chime with thoughts, comments, and questions.

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The Internet Killed these 4 Words for Me

Flack's Revenge

Let’s face it, things have gotten weird with the Internet lately (and all things related – like the Web, apps, and social media). We used to have a great thing going! Now, Internet, you’ve become clingy, stalkerish, irrational, and carelessly share my personal info. The rant could turn into a much longer post, but I’ll focus here on a subset of the complaints, namely four words that no longer mean the same things, largely due to Internet tech and culture.

Think outside the Block in Promoting your Venture: Join our 10/2 Webinar

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Looking to launch or grow a blockchain venture? What are the secrets to success? It’s a noisy world and a never-ending battle for the consumer’s attention. If the average user is slammed with info and updates, just think about journalists! They’re an especially tough crowd to reach and impress. Sure, you can try to take your message to the crowds directly, via social media. But it is not easy to rise above the noise in crowded newsfeeds and social streams.

Is it time to Rethink our Faustian Bargain with “Free”?

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There is legislation brewing in Europe that could upend digital media. They’re considering making the major platforms like Google, Facebook et al, pay copyright fees for all the content that they now freely distribute and monetize.

The Do’s and Don’ts Of Handling A PR Crisis

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This post is by David H. Lasker, Founder and CEO of News Exposure. . Your company’s hard-won reputation is an immeasurable asset. Start with the fact that your bottom line is built on customer trust. Add the likelihood that employees who steered your brand toward its good standing feel more invested. They may be increasingly productive as a result, further perpetuating the cycle of success. Intangibles such as these matter.

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Frank Strong on Next Steps in Social Media Marketing

Flack's Revenge

I have been writing about issues challenging social media and digital communications, and speaking with thought leaders on the topic. In this installment, I interview Frank Strong, Founder & President of Sword & Script Media, LLC. He’s a tech PR guy and long-time PR blogger, so he can’t be all bad Seriously, Frank has written some great stuff, and is very savvy about matters related to PR, digital and content.

We’ve been hacked! Call the Press!

Flack's Revenge

Folks, it is time for a tough conversation. No, not that one. The one about your cybersecurity stance – and any breaches. These things are the “third rail” in technology public relations, which is my forte. Talking about it seems somewhat akin to admitting you have an STD.

New Group Aims to Study Impact of AI and Algorithms on Society

Flack's Revenge

I’ve had many great conversations with my friend and PR authority Toni Muzi Falcone about the impact of technology on the field and society at large. Recently he told me about a new effort that he helped conceive – DigiDig – a website and citizen-led group dedicated to studying this area. Flack’s Revenge has covered tech in PR extensively, and my companion blog Hack the Feed covers algorithms in communications.

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Does Social Media Marketing need a Reboot? Drew Neisser Chimes in

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Drew Neisser, Founder & CEO of Renegade. I have been blogging about challenges confronting digital PR and social media marketing. You can read those posts to learn more. In a nutshell, issues have surfaced over the past couple of years (related to fake news, online manipulation, growing privacy concerns as examples) that I believe drive the need to take stock and possibly reevaluate digital strategies. This is my first in series of interviews on the topic.

How to Stand out at a Noisy Trade Show (MWC Field Guide)

Flack's Revenge

I am often asked by clients how to build trade show buzz and booth traffic. It can be especially challenging when you’re a small startup with limited funds, as are most of our clients. They’re competing against well-known companies that have massive tricked out booths, and also trying to steal attention from other strivers. The difficulties of rising above show noise were never more apparent than at MWC, the annual mobile industry confab, which I attended last month in Barcelona.

Building Bridges to Media and the World in Jerusalem

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Addressing the JVP meetup with Pnina Ben Ami. I traveled throughout Israel over the past 10 days and visited many parts of the beautiful country. Each place was more awe-inspiring than the last. But Jerusalem really stood out, for its history, mix of cultures and religions, and sheer beauty. The Old City must be seen to be believed. Walking through the bustling underground markets and sites that are thousands of years old seemed to take me back in time.

Social Tools Summit Wrap

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I attended and really enjoyed the Social Tools Summit in Boston earlier this week. Neal Schaffer and Brian Mahony produced a great event; kudos, and thanks again for inviting me to speak there. It gave me the chance to hear from a range of speakers, including vendors and users. The day was chock full of discussions and helpful information about the many aspects of social media marketing – it covered challenges, best practices, and yes – tools.

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PR Golden Turkey Awards

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I thought I’d bring back a feature this year that I haven’t done in awhile – my PR Golden Turkey Awards. Sound Opinions, one of my favorite podcasts inspired this year’s theme. Their November 18 episode focused on Turkey Pardons. Hosts Greg Kot and Jim DeRagotis absolved popular bands that were low on critics’ lists. They mentioned isolated songs and albums they do like from the acts.

Building a Fintech Startup: Top Tips, via Betaworks Panel

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Last week I wrote about growth tactics for B2Bs. This week I am following up with a post on how to build a fintech , based on a panel discussion I attended at Betaworks Studios in New York. Amanda Moskowitz of Stacklist, a directory of business tools for startups, moderated the session, which featured these panelists: Erik Akterin , Co-founder & CTO of Qapital Matt Harris, founder of Bloom Credit Cliff Hazelton , CTO at STASH Caroline Hoffman , Sr. Advisor at Republic.