In today’s Executive Briefing we delve into the saga tied to the Peeple App...Doomed Before it Launches? PR Lesson Learned. Cision offers tips on What to Avoid When Writing Your Next Press Release and a discussion of PR Measurement Trends: What to Consider.
As we approach the fifth anniversary of CommPRO this October 18th, I’d like to take a moment to thank our loyal readers and partners for their continued support. We hope our new readers enjoy CommPRO and welcome your feedback and suggestions so we continue to provide a unique and relevant service. You can reach me at: email@example.com.
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Gary Vaynerchuk builds businesses. Fresh out of college he took his family wine business and grew it from a $3M to a $60M business in just five years. Now he runs VaynerMedia, a digital agency. Along the way he became a prolific angel investor and venture capitalist, investing in companies like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Uber, and Birchbox before eventually co-founding VaynerRSE, a $25M angel fund.
The #AskGaryVee Show is Gary's way of providing as much value value as possible by taking your questions about social media, entrepreneurship, startups, and family businesses and giving you his answers based on a lifetime of building successful, multi-million dollar companies.
Gary is also a prolific public speaker, delivering keynotes at events like Le Web, and SXSW, which you can watch right here on this channel.
Find Gary here:
Wine Library: http://winelibrary.com
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By David E. Johnson, CEO, Strategic Vision, LLC
One of the side affects of the Great Recession has been the increase in the number of start-ups annually. The entrepreneurial spirit has seen thousands of new companies take off over night, particularly among apps. Most start-ups realize the need for a strong public relations strategy to help ensure success. Recently, the reason that start-ups would be wise to invest in public relations was reinforced with the story of the Peeple app.
Two women, Julia Cordray and Nicole McCullough created an app that they described as being a Yelp for people with a launch date slated for November. The app will allow users to rate people they know on three categories: personal, professional, and dating. It will also allow users to find and meet nearby people with high positive ratings. Peeple doesn't allow people to opt in or out and individuals can create profiles for other users -- without their consent. In a nutshell, anyone could create an account for someone and give that person any rating they wanted and Peeple would never delete that online review unless ordered to do so by a court regardless of the truth or circumstances of the review. News of Peeple created a media and social media firestorm and which demonstrated the need for a cohesive public relations strategy for start-ups, especially as the founders of Peeple failed every basic public relations test and may have doomed the app before launching it.
So what are some of the lessons, entrepreneurs can learn from Peeple?
Cordray and McCullough were interviewed by the Washington Post about Peeple and the interview was slightly less than stellar. They seemed unprepared to discuss their app in detail and were totally unprepared for questions concerning privacy issues. In fact Cordray was frequently calling the reporter back with changes to her original answers. Cordray went on to do a media tour last Friday and gave a different answer each time to questions regarding privacy and funding. This gave rise to speculation that the entire app was a hoax.
As news of Peeple reached the public, Cordray was forced to defend the app in regard to questions about the potential for bullying and invasions of privacy. Cordray defended the app saying they were totally transparent and unafraid of being rated themselves. That is until the public began asking questions and offering criticism via Facebook and Twitter. Peeple deleted questions left and right. Cordray was caught tweeting asking questions on Twitter on how to delete negative comments. This created a whole new media story on the founder of the people rating app being afraid to be rated by people, herself. In fact in their effort to control social media, the Peeple team took down their Twitter and Facebook pages several times and have since reposted new ones. They also sought to shut down anti-Peeple social media sites creating yet another media story.
Some critics merely asked questions regarding privacy. Instead of having a prepared response to these questions or a promise to respond, the Peeple team threatened lawsuits. Thus a new media story was created – Peeple threatens critics with lawsuits.
In regard to the public backlash from millions including T-Mobile John J. Legere and supermodel, Chrissy Teigen, Cordray took to social media to portray herself as a victim of persecution for being an entrepreneur. This has led to even more negative stories about Peeple and Cordray with still no coherent crisis communications strategy in place.
The Peeple app is believed to be doomed before it even launches (if it launches) because of a poorly executed public relations strategy (yes they garnered media attention but not the attention to win public support and investor backing). Much of what went wrong could have been avoided. Peeple should serve as a cautionary tale to any start-up for the need for professional public relations.
[author] About the Author: David E. Johnson is the CEO of Strategic Vision, LLC, a public relations and branding agency that specializes in crisis communications, branding, and media relations. Additional information on Johnson and Strategic Vision, LLC may be obtained at www.strategicvision.biz.[/author]
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Each year, new data, metrics, software and user preferences dictate influencer marketing. At the PR News Social Media Summit in New York City October 5, videos, graphics and images will again dominate in 2016.
According to the statistics:
This trend was ingeniously illustrated by Nissan North America—The Altima Chase “The Ride of your Life” TV Play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLJ0TwlKp4o along with videos and graphics from the CFA Institute, Post Foods and Kind Snacks.
But as the case studies proved, video’s high ranking is not enough without cross-platform audience campaigns.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snap Chat and mobile were discussed but a large percentage of marketing teams still prefer one or two channels and do not go cross channel.
Today, everyone is using some device and is connected one way or another. So how do we decide what content to create, what platforms to use and how to improve and grow our brand relationships?
My overall takeaway on the day was go back to “Marketing 101”. Who is your target audience? How do you reach them? What is the psychology behind their buying habits and preferences? Analyze your competition. Build trust. Add value. Be interesting. Experiment. Have a human element. Ask for feedback and always respond.
You know the old saying, “If you want a different result, do something different.”
[author]About the Author: Wendy Glavin is the Founder and President of her own firm. An entrepreneur, Wendy has more than 15 years experience as a marketing communications and public relations strategist, having worked for a Fortune 500 company, advertising and public relations agencies, a publishing firm, small businesses and start-ups in the retail, health and wellness, education, entertainment and technology worlds. Wendy’s expertise spans traditional, new and social media marketing. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. wendyglavin.com [/author]
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PR tools and tactics change often, especially as of late. Gone are the days of fax machines; here to stay is the age of all things digital.
Yet, knowing how to write press releases continues to remain relevant in this industry.
Before you get started on your next press release, remind yourself what to do and what to avoid. Steer clear of these five mistakes:
When a company releases a new product or reaches a long-term goal, its employees often want to shout the news from every mountaintop. As tempting as writing in all caps or boasting in long-block quotes may be, don’t write in a way that sounds like you’re yelling.
Keep reporters and prospective customers’ interest by writing in a neutral, third-person tone.
Furthermore, product-specific jargon or internal lingo should be kept in the office. Think of who you’re trying to reach and set your tone accordingly.
Want to know how to attract coverage with your press release? Get Cision's free PR Starter Kit today!
If you start every press release off with a company history lesson, stop immediately. Don’t make readers dig around for details surrounding your company’s news like a needle in a haystack.
The longer it takes for you to answer the 5 W’s (Who, What, Where, When and Why) of your news announcement, the less effective your press release will be.
Readers may be curious about where your headquarters are located, but their main interest in looking at your press release is to find out what’s new. Save your history for the boilerplate.
Images: Nic McPhee (Creative Commons)
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