Tag Archives: Public Relations

CAN’T WE JUST PLAY BALL? ASTROS THROW WILD PITCH IN PR STRATEGY

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or in this case, hiding out in the dugout), the most recent PR snafu has involved the major league baseball club Houston Astros and their getting caught for electronic-stealing of “signs” (they were able to decipher and transmit signals the opposing teams’ catchers relayed to the opposing pitcher. Ergo, their batters knew what pitch was coming). Huge, and illegal, advantage in the playing of America’s Pastime.

As such, the Astros baseball club was fined $5 million by baseball’s commissioner, docked draft choices for the next two years and the team’s manager and general manager were suspended for the season (they were subsequently discharged by the club as well.)

There were no penalties for the team’s players, and the Astros did not have to vacate their 2017 World Series championship and all the spoils that go along with it. Turns out, the team had been stealing signs for almost two (or three?) years until it had the conscience to suddenly ‘stop’ late 2018 (just before they played and swept our Cleveland Indians in the first divisional playoff round. Hmm.).

Anyway, why the diatribe in our February PR e-newsletter? Well, it’s one thing to be caught. Another to apologize (and really mean it BTW!), and another whereas an organization you screw up so proficiently the entire US sporting press screams for you to hire a good PR practitioner:

The Houston Astros had PR companies across the globe pointing and laughing at them.

Andy Nesbitt, columnist in USA TODAY Sports, is attributed the above pull-quote taken from his recent article “I was wrong for calling the Houston Astros cowards, turns out they’re just idiots”

The best writeup of the bunch was last week’s by Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri, Breaking Down the Astros’ Latest Public Relations Meltdown Subtitle: A public relations expert analyzes the Astros’ poor effort to apologize for their sign-stealing scheme.

Well, that expert is Tony D‘Angelo, our past PRSA National Chair, and director of Syracuse University’s Master’s program in communications management (note of transparency here, I served with Tony on the National Board back in 2007–09).

His advice is so right on folks when it comes to handling a crisis – and eventually, we’re all going to find ourselves, our client or our organization in some type of predicament – that I urge you all to click and read through.

And then consider if the Astros were your client, or Jim Crane was your boss: What would you do? And taking an intentional pass is not an option.

And BTW, this is at least the third or fourth huge PR screw up for these guys – another good read, from October 2019, is Al Yellon’s feature The Houston Astros demonstrate how not to handle a PR Crisis!  Subtitle: The A.L. Champions are really bad at media and public relations.

Well duh.

SPECIAL PRSA CLEVELAND MEMBERSHIP OFFERS

 

Every year PRSA National offers some special offers that should not be overlooked.

Check these out:

January 1 to March 31, 2020

  • Free Chapter dues ($70 value)
  • Free Section dues (There are 12 PRSA sections, most at $65)
  • Associate Members (three years or less in PR) (From $60 to $200)

April 1 to June 30

  • $25 Amazon Gift Card for new regular members ($260 duesz0

July 1 to August 31

  • Free one-year Chapter dues ($70)
  • Initiation fee for new members waived ($65)

September

  • Free one-year Chapter dues and $65 initiation fee waived—$125 savings
  • TRIPLE PLAY— Free one-year Chapter dues ($70)

Free one-year Section dues (most at $65)

Free Initiation/Reinstatement fee ($65/$35)

December

  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • Waive one-year Chapter dues ($70)

Contact Ed Stevens, APR, VP Membership for details—estevens@stevensstrategic.com

JOIN PRSA CLEVELAND FOR ‘MINIMIZING AND MANAGING FAKE NEWS’ PANEL ON FEB. 18

 

“Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.”  — Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams made that statement in 1992 and it is even more relevant today. We are inundated with a tsunami of fake news, which circulates with unprecedented speed thanks to the power of the Internet.

Fake news has the power to destroy reputations overnight and no business is immune to its impact. New research conducted by Kroll and Forrester Consulting reveals that “84% of businesses feel threatened by market manipulation through the spread of fake news, most commonly fueled by social media.”

Fake news presents unique challenges when it comes to crisis communications. Do you know how to manage a crisis created by fake news? Do you wonder how it differs from other types of issues? What can you do today to prepare?

You have questions — and we have answers!

Please join us on Tuesday, Feb. 18 for the presentation “From Misinformation to Disinformation: Minimizing and Managing Fake News.”

Based upon analysis of 21 interviews with public relations practitioners who have first-hand experience with fake news accusations and/or crisis communication, this presentation shares insights about how to avoid falling prey to a fake news crisis and effectively manage a crisis originating from fake news.

Speakers include:

  • Michele Ewing, APR, Fellow PRSA, Associate Professor, Kent State University
  • Cheryl Lambert, Assistant Professor, Kent State University
  • Barbara Paynter, APR, Fellow PRSA, President, Paynter Communications LLC

Schedule:

  • 7:30 a.m. Registration, networking and breakfast buffet
  • 8:15 a.m. Program begins
  • 9:30 a.m. Event concludes

Tickets: $22 — $135

Location:

Lago East Bank

1091 West 10th Street

Cleveland, OH 44113

PRSA Greater Cleveland Recognizes Winners of Hill Lighthouse Young Awards

 

CLEVELAND – April 12, 2018 – The Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Greater Cleveland Chapter recognized three area communications professionals with its prestigious Hill, Lighthouse and Young Awards at a luncheon ceremony yesterday, April 11.

L-R: David Gilbert, Barbara Paynter, Julie Miller

The John W. Hill Award is presented each year to the chief executive of a Greater Cleveland area organization who provides outstanding leadership and support for internal and external communications. The 2018 Hill Award was presented to David Gilbert, president and CEO of Destination Cleveland as well as president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission.

The Lighthouse Award is presented each year to recognize the career accomplishments, contributions to the profession and community service of a senor public relations professional who is a member of PRSA Greater Cleveland. The 2018 Lighthouse Awards was presented to Barbara Paynter, APR, Fellow PRSA who is president of Paynter Communications.

The Davis Young Award is presented each year to recognize a professional who excels in mentoring students and young professionals through hands-on instruction and support. The 2018 Young Award was presented to Julie Miller, APR, associate professor and director of public relations programs at Baldwin Wallace University.

“The caliber of the people we honored at this awards luncheon distinguishes the Greater Cleveland PRSA chapter as one of the finest in the nation,” said Bob Rotatori, PRSA Cleveland president. “It was a great honor to be part of it and witness the occasion with so many of our colleagues.”

More than 70 Cleveland-area communications professionals attended the awards presentation which took place at the Union Club. The event was sponsored by Vitamix Corporation, Eaton Corporation and Dominion East Ohio Gas.

Ethics and Our Society

By Chris Lynch, APR, Fellow PRSA

Falls Communications and PRSA Cleveland Programming Chair

According to the recent 2017 eKG Survey by PRSA of its 21,000 membership of public relations and communications professional practitioners, the most important value that PRSA provides is our Society’s Code of Ethics.

The Ethics Code also ranked number one in the survey’s competitive index, which in essence, said it was the most important feature our members tell other practitioners as the reason they joined or would recommend PRSA to other professionals.

Recently two articles by major U.S. media outlets lumped non-ethical PR practices onto the usual, all-encompassing reporting that eluded those in our profession are practically nothing more than “spin doctors or glorified snake oil salesmen” … yes, really still … by the same fourth estate scribes that turn around the next day begging us for story background and content.

Fortunately, PRSA National in New York keeps its finger on the pulse of these musings, and has – as usual – been right on top of these media misperceptions. You may have seen this in last week’s PRSA correspondence to members (I know, oftentimes there is so much email from the Mother Ship, we don’t see the important things), but to reiterate:

Our 2018 PRSA Chair, Anthony D’Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA responded immediately through advocacy with two significant Letters to the Editor correcting the misperception of our industry and its practitioners.

One, when the Los Angeles Times’ February 2 Los Angeles Times op-ed by Virginia Heffernan was critical of White House Director of Communications, Hope Hicks, and her qualifications for the job, which is perhaps to be expected given that Hicks is a public figure who works for a controversial president. What was both unexpected and unacceptable was Heffernan’s broad criticism of public relations professionals, as she described PR’s “moral flexibility, callousness and charm,” and claimed “lying to the media is traditionally called PR.” Here is PRSA’s response.

The other came the following week when, the demise of the British agency Bell Pottinger (which described itself as a public relations firm), appeared in a story describing its actions on page one of Monday’s New York Times. In fairness, PRSA agrees writer David Segal did a masterful job detailing the firm’s unethical behavior, expulsion from the U.K. Public Relations and Communications Association, and its loss of all clients. However, per D’Angelo’s note to Society members, “I don’t fault The New York Times for covering the story — it’s important. But as chair of the Society that represents the ethical practice of public relations, I was compelled to write a letter to the editor stressing that what Bell Pottinger did is definitely #NotOurPR.”

I was fortunate enough to serve with Tony when I was on the National Board of Directors for PRSA.  It’s nice to see he’s still active, and still has our backs. As he said on the topic of Ethics: “By subscribing to and promoting our Code of Ethics in public relations, which is the right thing to do, is ultimately best for business as well as our industry and all the publics we serve.

 

PRSA Cleveland Announces 2017 Student of the Year Award Winner

 

Cleveland, Ohio – April 4, 2017 – The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Greater Cleveland Chapter is proud to announce that Latisha Ellison has been named the Chapter’s 2017 Student of the Year. The annual award honors one outstanding marketing and communications college student from the Greater Cleveland area. As the 2017 SOTY winner, Ms. Ellison has earned a $2,500 scholarship.

“Many talented students competed this year, but Latisha was the best of the best,” said Lorraine Schuchart, president of PRSA Greater Cleveland.

As a junior public relations student in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Kent State University, Ellison has been honored as a dean list receipt in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Ellison is also a Marcus Thomas Promising Scholar and an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, Kent Chapter. She is currently the YouToo Social Media Conference Chairperson.

In addition to exceling at her studies and participating in PRSSA Kent, she’s currently a public relations intern at Flash Communications in Kent, Ohio. Prior to her internship at Flash Communications, Ms. Ellison was a student assistant at the School of Library and Information Science and a College of Communication & Information Beat Reporter for The Kent Stater.

“Latisha is a standout student in the public relations program in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State,” said Michele E. Ewing, APR, Fellow PRSA, associate professor of public relations at Kent State University. “She excels inside and outside the classroom. Faculty, staff and students enjoy working with Latisha because she’s a thoughtful leader with a can-do attitude and contagious positive energy.”

Ellison is from Butler, PA and will be interning in Cleveland this summer.

“I am extremely honored and surprised to have received this award from PRSA Cleveland. I’ve been working with the PRSSA Kent Chapter since freshman year and I’m passionate about this industry.” said Ellison

In addition to her scholarship, Ellison will have the opportunity to interview with local Cleveland area businesses for a potential internship including Great Lakes Science Center, Falls Communications, and Prosper for Purpose.

Latisha Ellison