Uber, the mobile app that instantly connects customers with drivers, knows how to use aggressive tactics (while taking it too far) against its competitor Lyft. According to CNN, since 2013, Uber employees ordered and then cancelled 5,000 Lyft rides, forcing customers to subsequently use Uber’s services. This not only hinders the company but hurts Lyft drivers’ income and time.
Also, in the same article by CNN, Uber employees in New York are being told it’s against city regulations to work for both companies, even receiving text messages forbidding the action. However, according to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, this is false.
Whether you’re a part of a startup or a company with a net worth of $3 billion, one of the first things that needs addressing is providing your employees (and management, in this case) with a compliance/ethics training program. That’s because your credibility is directly tied to your ethics.
This year, I’m serving as the PRSA liaison to the Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS). September is Ethics Month, and as part of the long lineup of activities, I co-hosted a #RaganChat on the topic.
Here’s a transcript of my answers:
Q1 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: Why are ethics important to the public relations industry? #RaganChat
A1 We at @PRSA believe the success of the PR profession relies on the ethics of its practitioners. #RaganChat
Q2 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: How have PRSA ethics guidelines changed throughout the years? #RaganChat
A2 @PRSA ethics guidelines evolved from enforcement to inspiration. U r in charge of ur “ethical destiny” #RaganChat
Q3 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: What are some common ethics violations PR pros have committed, and how has it affected them? #RaganChat
A3 I’ll answer it this way: some big issues today are native advertising, sponsored content, use of interns and social media. #RaganChat
Q4 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: What should PR pros be aware of re: native advertising, “pay to play” campaigns and “influencer” marketing? #RaganChat
A4 Disclosure is crucial! Here’s an Ethical Standards Advisory on the topic: http://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/Ethics/EthicalStandardsAdvisories/Documents/PSA-09.pdf #RaganChat
Q5 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: Where’s the line for a conflict of interest, and how can PR pros avoid them? #RaganChat
A5 Again, disclosure is key, in this case to avoid conflicts of interest and even *perceived* conflicts of interest. #RaganChat
Q6 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: What are the guidelines for reporting unethical behavior? How can one avoid “looking the other way?” #RaganChat
A6 Please report to @PRSA’s BEPS group. beps [at] prsa [dot] org. #RaganChat
Q7 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: What should PR pros keep in mind when using images or videos in brand campaigns? #RaganChat
A7 Always seek approval in using images and videos. When in doubt, don’t use it. #RaganChat
Q8 @CaptBNL @KirkHazlett: What is a “phantom experience,” what can it do to reputations, and how can PR pros avoid it? #RaganChat
A8 Phantom experiences will give u a new rep, and it won’t be a good one. Find outside sources that can corroborate your story. #RaganChat
Our newest intern is UW-Whitewater senior Tom Gavin, who will be graduating this December with a degree in communications. Tom spent last fall studying at Assumption University in Thailand, and he just completed a summer marketing internship at a manufacturing company.
I receive requests for information interviews on a regular basis. I enjoy helping students, recent grads, people who moved recently, former reporters and the like. However, “help” is the operative word.
It saddens me to find out that after laying a complete roadmap–where to network, who the players are, how to build experience, etc.–some of the people I meet with don’t follow any of my advice and consequently don’t end up working in PR/marketing.
I thought about this after reading an anecdote about golf in the John O’Hurley interview in Tactics. I can teach you how to golf, but you’re the one who has to actually swing the clubs at the end of the day–the ball isn’t going to move itself, and no one is going to hit it for you.
Sure, it may take you a few more swings than someone else, but eventually, you’ll get the ball in the hole. So don’t just sit there and hope a job falls in your lap–go hit the links!
Sometimes there’s a product or service that seems outrageous but for some reason, the public falls in love with it. A recent example is the selfie stick.
The stick itself is part of a larger trend of people taking selfies, and Tourism Australia is taking advantage in its new “The GIGA Selfie” campaign.
The oversized selfie service is part of the upcoming campaign that’s trying to attract more Japanese tourists to Australia (the Japanese market is Australia’s sixth largest in terms of tourists). Tourists stand on a specific spot and use an app to set off a distant camera. Afterward they can download a short video that begins as a closeup but expands to reveal the surroundings.
This weekend will be the first opportunity for tourists to take the highly anticipated selfie. Future locations will be announced through social media outlets.
For companies, there’s no shame in jumping on the bandwagon in your marketing campaigns. Not only will the public be aware of the trend, but they may be more willing to use it.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 18, 2015
Annual Forward Festival to Highlight Inclusiveness
(MADISON, Wis.)—The sixth annual Forward Festival, taking place Aug. 20-27 in various locations in the city, will feature events for entrepreneurs, foodies, music lovers and now parents, organizers announced today.
“We’re looking forward to showcasing the incredible evolution of innovation around Madison at this year’s festival,” Bryan Chan, festival co-founder and president of SupraNet Communications, said. “We’re excited to include a wide range of entrepreneurs in different ages and industries while also focusing on the challenges families and parents of entrepreneurs face. Therefore, this year we will be providing free childcare all day at the Forward Technology Conference.”
The festival’s main event is the aforementioned Forward Technology Conference (Aug. 25), which is now paired with the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce’s neXXpo and Pressure Chamber events. Kevin Conroy, President of Exact Sciences, and Josh Levs, a CNN reporter, will be the keynote speakers.
Other highlights of the festival include the Edible Startup Summit (Aug. 24), the annual Madison Ruby Conference (Aug. 21-22) and the inaugural Parentpreneur Night (Aug. 21), an event to connect entrepreneurs who seek work-life balance.
Originally started in 2010, the Forward Festival was created by Chan, Nathan Lustig of Magma Partners and Matt Younkle of Murfie to bring together professionals from a wide range of disciplines. That is evident in events such as the Social Good Summit (Aug. 20), Yum Yum Fest (Aug. 23) and Cool Jazz with the Badger Fund (Aug. 26).
For a detailed listing of events taking place during the Forward Festival, please visit www.forwardfest.org.
Resulting media coverage:
- In Business Magazine (Aug. 11, 2015): “Forward Fest highlights the best of Madison’s entrepreneurial spirit”
- The Capital Times (Aug. 17, 2015): “Forward Festival to feature new Social Good Summit, return of Edible Startup Summit”
- NBC-15 (Aug. 17, 2015): “Forward Festival Preview”
- WKOW – 27 (Aug. 18, 2015): “Forward Festival celebrates innovation and entrepreneurship”
- Madison Startups (Aug. 19, 2015): “2015 Forward Festival Preview”
- The Isthmus (Aug. 19, 2015): “Double duty”
- Wisconsin State Journal (Aug. 20, 2015): “Forward Festival kicks off Thursday”
- WISC-TV News 3 (Aug. 20, 2015) ““Festival promotes entrepreneurialism in Madison”
- The Capital Times (Aug. 21, 2015): “Social Good Summit kicks off Forward Festival, focuses on inequality in Madison”
PR practitioners should revise the old real estate expression about the three things that matter in property: “location, location, location” to three things that matter in public relations: “timing, timing, timing.”
As seen in a recent article in PR News, St. Baldrick’s Foundation used its relationship with its agency partner, FleishmanHillard, to pitch a targeted story that ended up landing the organization on NBC’s The Today Show.
Knowing St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s message would resonate better on television than print, FH targeted their message accordingly. In FH’s research, it found out “The Today Show” was doing a week-long segment in which people were trying to break Guinness World Records. Subsequently, FH developed a pitch in which St. Baldrick’s would try to attempt to break the record for the most heads shaved in an hour, being broadcast live on TV.
The segment was extremely successful, earning more than 20 million media impressions and raising almost $36,000 for the foundation.
St. Baldrick’s pitch to “The Today Show” was the right idea at the right time. This is just one example of how timing is extremely important in this industry. If you get it right, you can reap many benefits.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 12, 2015
Keith or Erin Stoesz
Joey’s Seafood Changes to North and South Seafood & Smokehouse
(MADISON, Wis.) – Looking to further improve upon its menu offerings and differentiate itself from the former franchise of the same name, Joey’s Seafood is now North and South Seafood & Smokehouse, owners Keith and Erin Stoesz announced today.
In addition to its award-winning seafood (according to Madison Magazine and Taste of Madison), North and South will offer smokehouse items such as pulled pork, ribs and brisket as well as homemade BBQ sauces. Also, Three Count Beverage Co. revamped the bar menu.
“We want to make sure our customers have the best smart-casual dining experience possible,” Keith said. “The new menu reflects the cuisines that Erin and I have enjoyed throughout our lives, and we’re hopeful that diners will appreciate the additions.”
Nightly specials range from a smoked chicken dinner to fish fry. Happy hour takes place from 2:45-6 p.m. each weekday.
Keith and Erin opened the restaurant in 2005. The franchise system dissolved in 2007, but local owners were allowed to keep the name.
North and South Seafood & Smokehouse is located at 6604 Mineral Point Rd. It is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
More information can be found at eatnorthandsouth.com.