Does Europe Have an Image Problem?

The European Union has once again fallen under some strong scrutiny, following the decision to halt all air traffic to and from Northern Europe for five days due to volcanic ash spewing into the air from Iceland. Politicians, media and the general public are all speculating as to whether a full halt was necessary and calling into question the EU’s crisis response tactics. Europe is known for faulty crisis management and this is just one of several instances where the region has come under fire. Read more […]

Post-Acquisition PR Temptations to Avoid

Acquisitions can be a fun — and scary — time for communications pros. I remember during my days at 24/7 Media, at the height of the dot com boom, we acquired nine companies during my tenure. Nine! At the time, not all of the companies brought into the fold were also brought in to our existing marketing programs. But I can understand why, when Adobe acquired Omniture on September 15, Adobe would want to introduce itself to Omniture’s customers. I’m just not sure they went about it the right way. I’m Read more […]

Is “Fooled You!” Good PR?

Yesterday morning, I sent an email around to the team with a link to TechCrunch’s April Fools tech PR roundup. My initial reaction to the post was, Oof. We missed the boat. Then I scrolled. And scrolled. And scrolled. I didn’t take time to tally them up, but there are dozens, if not hundreds, of goofy April Fools Day PR stunts mentioned. Here’s the question: is getting mentioned in passing on TechCrunch’s April Fools roundup a PR win? And, even if it is, isn’t it like winning on a technicality and Read more […]

Google Apps: Down for Everyone or Just Me?

Last week, I read Chris Brogan’s post about Google suspiciously freezing accounts without warning. It made chills run down my spine. Cloud computing is not for the faint of heart! Cut to this afternoon. I’ve been getting the same annoying message for the past 20 minutes: I checked, but so far it looks like it’s just me…and everyone else in our office. No incoming or outgoing emails = not good Google Apps PR. Anyone else experiencing Google Apps (specifically, Gmail) hiccups? UPDATE Read more […]

Ars Technica: Windows Vista’s Biggest Problem? Bad PR.

Just read an interesting piece by Don Reisinger in Ars Technica. In Opinion: How Microsoft can turn the negative Vista PR tide, Reisinger argues Microsoft’s biggest Vista failure was not putting the proper PR push behind it. I can’t remember reading one positive article on Windows Vista since its launch. Of the deluge of negative press I’ve come across, it’s my impression that Vista failed not because Microsoft didn’t communicate its worth properly, but because it was an inherently bad OS. So Read more […]

Elliot Spitzer Sex Scandal: 5 Quick Lessons for the CEO

NY Governor Elliot Spitzer has been linked to a sex ring as a client. The story broke in today’s New York Times and has been the subject of news reports and tabloid gossip throughout the day. His behavior, although scandalous, is not uncommon. All too often, people in power seem to feel that they are above the law and not accountable for their behavior. It’s not clear whether there is some sort of character flaw of the wildly successfully overachiever and/or politician that causes this behavior, Read more […]

Sarah Lacy at SXSWi: What Happened?

I confess I have never been to South by Southwest. However, the beauty of any conference attended by obsessive bloggers is that you can follow the fun online wherever you are. Yesterday afternoon, I noticed a few tweets regarding Sarah Lacy’s keynote interview with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Sarah, a tech reporter for BusinessWeek, was universally panned — not necessarily for the content of the questions she asked, or for the answers she was able to squeeze out of the notoriously hard-to-read Read more […]

Sadistic Customer Service & Masochistic Customers

Why do we do it? Why do we allow ourselves to be beaten to a pulp, used and abused and mercilessly left for dead on hold by sadistic customer service representatives from companies that we pay good money for their bad service? In the last few weeks, I have experienced an inordinate amount of appalling customer service. For my colleagues in the office, its quite funny that the cable guy has been to my house three times in one week. Thanks Cablevision! (Maybe the fourth time’s the charm because Read more […]

LOFSA Data Breach — My Daily News Monitoring Just Got Personal

My mom alerted me to a data breach involving the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOFSA) and their back-up provider, Iron Mountain. While news of the breach is quickly being spread in state and local news outlets, the story is not getting widespread pickup. According to the AP story: The case was lost Sept. 19 when a driver for a Boston-based contractor failed to follow company procedures when loading it onto his vehicle, according to a statement e-mailed Wednesday by Laura Sudnik, Read more […]