Bracing for Impact in 2020: What We Can Learn from MLK’s Journey

Neil Foote, President & Founder, Foote Communications

As the nation braces for a contentious, divisive presidential election year ahead, Rev.-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s voice of reason and calm is needed more than ever. Not unlike 1968, 2020 is a year when this nation is on edge.  Back then, the Vietnam War loomed over the nation like a dark cloud, seemingly without end.  Streets in many major cities around the country were rife with racial unrest. Segregationists were incensed with the wave of nonviolent protests that pitted Blacks v. the rest of America. It was in King’s infamous, last speech on April 3rd in Memphis that he said, The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land. Confusion all around.”  Wow! Sound familiar?  Too much so.

I suppose the good news today is that the nightly news is not giving us updates on the number of deaths and casualties from a war taking place halfway around the world, though it’s clear that we are living at a time when we are one tweet away from igniting global panic.  Our streets aren’t in flames, though some of our cities are one police-shooting or mass shooting away from a massive outpouring of civil unrest due to the inaction on policies to protect people from gun violence.  What’s too similar is that the nation is engaged in a race and class war where immigrants are getting demonized and stereotypical tropes are being used to castigate and marginalize women and racial and ethnic minorities. King called on people to take to the streets to hold nonviolent marches. He called on residents to demand respect and justice for access to jobs and fair wages. “Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination,” King said that Memphis night. “And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation.”

To make America a better nation is going to require a collective effort where people of all races and backgrounds will have to embrace the economic and demographic realities of a country that will be majority minority in less than 20 years. This imminent change has fueled fear and tension in cities – large and small. The need for citizens take a deep breath to pause, listen and understand each other is what King would have wanted. There’s a need for corporate leaders to fill the void where civil conversations are absent. As King once said, “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

Our survival in 2020 is going to rely on us following King’s advice to listen more, and communicate better.  As professionals who shape messages on a daily basis, we have to push ourselves to be thoughtful, creative and bold. Yes, bold in a way that allows us to celebrate the goodness in humanity and challenge those around us to stand together with a “greater determination” to minimize hateful speech, and eliminate insensitive images and messages that only lead to an unraveling of the intricate, but delicate weaving of our country’s democracy.  King offers some advice to us during this election year that should be etched in our minds throughout the year: “We shall have to do more than register and more than vote; we shall have to create leaders who embody virtues we can respect, who have moral and ethical principles we can applaud with enthusiasm.”


Neil Foote - The spin doctors and pundits are out in full force. The release of the Mueller Report – at least the U.S. Attorney General William Barr summary of it – has cable TV interpreting the what was actually written – and what was intimated by the memo.About the Author: Neil Foote is a veteran journalist and media executive. He draws from his experience at the Miami Herald, Washington Post, Belo Corporation and Tom Joyner’s Reach Media. He also teaches digital and social media for journalists, media management and business journalism at the University of North Texas’ Frank W. & Sue Mayborn School of Journalism and runs Foote Communications, a media consulting firm. The native of Brooklyn, NY also is president of the board for the National Black Public Relations Society and founder of

Entries Open for the 2019 SPOKEies® Awards

Early Bird Deadline is May 17th!

The SPOKEies® is the first program to honor the best spokespeople representing brands, non-profits and corporations. The awards have acknowledged leaders who communicate honestly and effectively on behalf of their organizations, with winners representing the best in the business. 27 business and non-profit leaders have already been honored with a SPOKEies® Award in categories including Most Authentic, Under 40 and C-Suite Leader. This year’s winners will be honored at a gala luncheon in New York City and featured in a live television program broadcast nationwide, sharing their expertise.

The SPOKEies® was founded by D S Simon Media. 

CommPRO is the 2019 Marketing Partner.

Submit a nomination here.

(2015 Top Webinar) Irreversible: The Effects of Big Data on Public Relations

Irreversible On Demand


Webinar Overview


Commonly, public relations is a “relationship” business built on the basis of creativity, networking and the ability to communicate effectively through compelling content.  But since its foundation, research has played an important role in informing the public relations process. Now, through the emergence of new research methods and advanced technology coupled with the demands of our accelerated pace of business, a new form of public relations is emerging where statistics spark creativity; where data drives more fully integrated communications decision-making; and where technology enables more people to act more quickly and with greater intelligence. For global businesses as well as for public relations, the driving force is known collectively as Big Data. In this new landscape, communications practitioners must evolve along with their profession to understand and come to terms with the science beneath the art of public relations.

The web conference precedes a soon-to-be-released white paper published by the Institute for Public Relations.  In this free webinar, the authors introduce the concept of big data from a public relations and communications perspective, outline the sources of big data for the field, discuss challenges of using big data, and where it can be found both internally and externally. The real value lies in the actionable insights that can be gleaned from the data and the session also focuses on the insight-discovery process and big data applications in the public relations and communications continuum.



Mark Weiner 150x150Mark Weiner

PRIME Research Americas

Chief Executive Officer

Twitter: @WeinerMark


Mark Weiner is the Chief Executive Officer of PRIME Research Americas. PRIME is one of the world’s largest public relations and corporate communications research and consulting providers, employing more than 500 analysts and consultants in Western Europe, North and South America, Eastern Europe and Asia. Since 1993, Mark has devoted his career to counseling many of the world’s most respected organizations and brands to demonstrate and generate a positive return on their investment in corporate and brand communications.

He is the author of “Unleashing the Power of PR: A Contrarian’s Guide to Marketing and Communication,”contributed chapters to three other texts as well as dozens of white-papers, features and articles. Mark has also guest-lectured at many of the world’s leading public relations conferences and professional development programs and is a regular contributor to leading communication and public relations professional media.

Mark is a member of The Institute for Public Relations, for which he served as a Trustee and the 2004 Chair of the Measurement Commission; The Public Relations Society of America; and AMEC. Mark was admitted into the PR Measurement Hall of Fame in 2013. 


SarebSarab Kochhar, Ph.D.

Institute for Public Relations

Director of Research

Twitter: @sarabkochhar


Sarab Kochhar, Ph.D., is the Director of Research with the Institute for Public Relations (IPR). At IPR, she is the chief research strategist, advising and leading the Institute on priorities and research programs. Sarab also holds the position as the

Associate director in APCO Worldwide’s Washington, D.C., office and serve as a strategic counsel for clients on measurement and evaluation for communication programs. Ms. Kochhar primarily works with clients across the globe to develop measurement techniques and provide insights to clients.

She has worked in both public and private sectors and has led project teams in the areas of technology, aerospace and many other sectors in her work with Burson-Marsteller in Bangalore, India. At BM, she was also a part of the team to drive new business opportunities. She has also worked with the Government of Chandigarh, Punjab, and Haryana where she managed the tourism function, including sports, medical, health, and cultural tourism. She has also worked with Ketchum Research and Analytics Group in New York.

Sarab received her Ph.D. in Public Relations from the University of Florida. She has authored book chapters and refereed conference papers, received the top paper award from PRSA Educators Academy, Chester Burger Award for Excellence in Public Relations from PRSA, and the Ketchum Public Relations Research Award presented by IPR. She also serves on the editorial board of PR Review.




(2015 Top Webinar) Content Meets Innovation: Engage with the Influencers (On-Demand Webcast Series)


PR Newswire On-Demand Webinar 



Creating and investing in content to attract buyers is a must in today’s world. Brands need to assess how content addresses audience needs, creates a multi-channel experience and demonstrates value for your organization. Influencers and leaders in the marketing and PR space are transforming how they utilize content to interact with buyers and better meet their needs. Creating a cohesive narrative across the lifecycle is key to driving buyer engagement and growth.

Join PR Newswire on November 12th for two roundtable discussions with industry leaders as they discuss the ever-evolving methods for content marketing.


Panel I: How Content and Experience are Evolving


This panel’s roundtable discussion will cover:

  • Tactics and mediums to increase content consumption
  • Adjusting to the shift in content consumption habits
  • Gaining buyer’s trust while leveraging your paid, owned and earned channels


  •  Ken Wincko, Senior Vice President, Marketing, PR Newswire
  • Steve Rubel, EVP/Global Strategy and Insights for Edelman
  • Fiorelli Salvo, Senior Communications Manager, Mashable
  • Dori Fern, Digital Strategist, MXM


Panel II: The Connected Story: Micro Moments


This panel will discuss:

  • Leveraging a multi-channel content approach
  • Identifying and tapping into every moment a consumer engages with your brand
  • Understanding the needs of your audience and tailoring your content for them


  • Michael Pranikoff, Global Director of Emerging Media, PR Newswire
  • David Berkowitz, Chief Marketing Officer, MRY Agency
  • Paul Kontonis, Chief Marketing Officer, Digiday
  • Ken Wincko, Senior Vice President, Marketing, PR Newswire




About Our Speakers


David-Berkowitz-headshotDavid Berkowitz….. @dberkowitz

Chief Marketing Officer


David Berkowitz is Chief Marketing Officer at agency MRY, where he spearheads marketing operations, directs the agency’s communication strategy, and gains visibility for its clients such as Coca-Cola, Visa, and Johnson & Johnson. Previously, he spent seven years at agency 360i, ultimately serving as Vice President of Emerging Media, having co-founded the agency’s social media practice in 2006 and led the Startup Outlook initiative.

He has spoken at more than 250 events around the world, including South by Southwest (SXSW) in Texas, Digital Age 2.0 in Brazil, Crowdsourcing Week in Singapore, and the keynote at Interactive Marketing Summit 2013 in Turkey. He has also been the featured speaker at corporate summits at the headquarters of Google, Coca-Cola, Cox Communications, and

David has written more than 500 bylines for outlets such as Advertising Age, The Economist, Mashable, and Mediapost. He has authored his own MarketersStudio blog since 2005. He has spoken at more than 200 events globally. While working as an editor at research firm eMarketer, he interviewed 175 executives and authors about technology and business.

He is frequently quoted online and in print, having appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, the New York Post, the Associated Press, and USA Today. Ad Age, Ad Week, and PR Week have all named him among the most influential advertising and marketing professionals on Twitter.



Dori FernDori Fern…..@dorifern

Content Strategy


Dori Fern is Senior Content Strategist at Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM), where she provides insights, analysis and strategic recommendations for diverse brand clients including Publix, Anthem and Bank of America. Dori rejoined MXM’s strategy team in June, her second time at the award-winning content marketing agency. From 2008-2012, Dori was the digital content lead on Kraft Foods’ CRM program. In between her MXM tenures, she provided content strategy and editorial management consulting services for marketing and media clients like Novartis, Chase, Advance Digital and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Prior to MXM, Dori was a programming lead for AOL Food and Living, part of the launch team that helped redefine AOL’s Women’s and Lifestyle channels with original content for the first time, in 2006, the same year Dori also developed her first branded content program. Created for Unilever’s Dove, this program was one of the first of its kind anywhere—and a precursor to the brand’s Real Women campaign—called “Chief Everything Officer: Women Who Do It All and Do It Well.”

In addition to her content marketing work, Dori also has a Culinary Arts diploma from the Institute of Culinary Education. In 2011, she won an Edible Brooklyn award for her excellent potato pancakes. She views latke-making and content strategy in much the same light.

“Latkes are made, basically, from three simple ingredients—potatoes, onion and egg. But the exact ingredients you do and don’t choose, how you prepare them, how much you do and don’t add, what kind of fat you fry them in and for how long, all these things make a difference. Just like building effective digital strategies.”




Paul KontonisPaul Kontonis…..@kontonis

Chief Marketing and Communications Officer


Paul Kontonis as Digiday’s chief marketing and communications officer, is responsible for shaping Digiday’s brand voice in content, marketing and promotions distributed across all Digiday platforms and managing a New York City-based marketing team.

“Our readers have come to expect a high-level, consumer experience, a step above the usual boring, corny and stale business media efforts,” said Nick Friese, Digiday CEO. “You’ll experience much smarter and more modern brand building and marketing from us as we move ahead, thanks to Paul and his breadth of experience.”

Prior to joining Digiday, Kontonis was the svp, strategy at Collective Digital Studio, a multi-platform digital entertainment company, where he developed the CDS brand and channel build business. He is president of the Global Online Video Association, holds numerous strategic and advisory board roles and has been a strong voice in the push for proper advertising, licensing, production, distribution and quality in online video.



Michael PranikoffMichael Pranikoff…@mpranikoff

Global Director of Emerging Media

PR Newswire

Michael has worked at PR Newswire since 1998 where he works with staff & clients on advising / educating on how to best communicate messages in an emerging media world. He is a frequent speaker, author, commenter, and blogger on PR, Marketing, Social Media, and future trends.





Steve RubelSteve Rubel…..@steverubel

Chief Content Strategist


Steve Rubel is Chief Content Strategist for Edelman, a leading global communications marketing firm with more than 5,500 employees in 65 cities worldwide. He is considered one of the leading experts on the evolving media landscape and the blurring lines between traditional and emerging channels.

Rubel is responsible for advancing Edelman’s thinking on the entire media ecosystem and for helping clients develop new programs that blend paid, owned, and earned content strategies. He serves as a senior advisor to the firm’s Executive Committee as well as its roster of clients.

Since joining Edelman in 2006, Rubel has served in a number of senior strategy roles. Early on, he helped evolve the firm’s thinking on social media and the impact it would have on both media and marketers. More recently he played a key role in helping the firm shape its point of view on sponsored content / native advertising, which has helped Edelman accelerate both its paid media and content capabilities.

Rubel is also one of Edelman’s most visible industry thought leaders. He was named by PR Week as one of 20 innovators who are having the greatest impact on communications and by Folio: magazine as “a go-to expert on the evolving media landscape.”

In this capacity he wrote a monthly column for eight years for Advertising Age. In addition, he has appeared as a featured speaker/panelist at hundreds of industry events over the last decade. Rubel is followed by over 90,000 people on Twitter (@steverubel) and by over 120,000 people on LinkedIn,where he is a member of their Influencer program.

Rubel is also host of the Content Convergence podcast ( on CBS Radio’s network. It unpacks how the best of the best get their message across in an age of infinite content options, but limited time and attention. He also represents Edelman on the World Economic Forum’s Media, Entertainment, and Information Industry Partnership.



Fiorelli SalvoFiorelli Salvo…..@fiosalvo

Senior Communications Manager


Fiorelli is Senior Communications Manager at Mashable, where she focuses on elevating awareness for the brand’s premium content as well as spearheads its internal communications strategy. Since joining in March 2014, Fiorelli has driven coverage around Mashable’s growing international editorial operations, specifically generating buzz around the launch of new channels (such as Global News, Entertainment and Lifestyle) and highlighting the expertise of editors across the U.S., Australia, the U.K. and South East Asia. Through this work, she has helped position the brand as an authoritative voice in digital culture and innovative storytelling.

Prior to Mashable, Fiorelli helped manage media relations, influencer engagement and launch campaigns for a number of iconic global brands, including Starbucks and Hewlett-Packard. Her favorite part about working in media is the ability to inspire change through storytelling. Currently residing in Jersey City, Fiorelli can usually be found searching for the next best brunch spot (and subsequently browsing new workouts) or rooting for the New York Yankees.



Ken-WinckoKen Wincko…..@kenwincko

SVP, Marketing

PR Newswire

Ken Wincko is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at PR Newswire, where he manages the company’s global marketing strategy.  He is also a member of the Executive Management Committee.  He has more than 20 years of marketing, product and business development experience in bringing innovative marketing programs and solutions to market for both B2B and B2C organizations. Prior to PR Newswire, Ken held senior-level marketing and product roles at Dun & Bradstreet, ADP, Citigroup, and IBM. He is a frequent speaker at major industry conferences and has been covered in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Alister & Payne, The Demand Gen Report, and Marketing Sherpa.  Ken is an advisory board member at the CMO Council.  Ken holds an MBA with honors from the Stern School of Business at New York University in Marketing and Information Systems, and an undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame.


Employee Engagement in the Mobile Age (On-Demand Webinar & Presentation)

Webinar Overview

Companies are losing hundreds of billions of dollars every year due to a lack of employee engagement. With Millennials expected to comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025, they are demanding that their employers provide them with the tools they need to be productive and engaged. However, a recent study conducted by theEMPLOYEEapp of over 300 communications professionals shows that current employee engagement tactics are just not getting the job done. The webinar takes  a deeper look into these survey results and see how they stack up against real world examples presented by fellow communications professionals.

Register Now


Charles Alfaro-USECharles Alfaro, Boehringer Ingelheim

Developing successful communications starts with understanding a company’s vision, direction and goals. During the past 30 years Charles Alfaro has specialized in the development of strategic, creative and authentic communications, designed to increase the visibility and reputation of companies, brands and executives. He has had success in different industries, including consumer, health care, business-to-business and sports. Charles has led communication teams and worked with CEOs and senior executives at such major companies as Roche, Cadbury Schweppes and Boehringer Ingelheim. His background includes experience in nearly every facet of communications, including: corporate PR, focusing on reputation management and crisis communications; launch campaigns, media relations and PR programs for a number of well known brands, such as Tamiflu®, Xenical®, Dr Pepper®, Snapple®, Trident®, Dentyne®, POWERade®, vitaminwater® and smartwater®; executive communications; as well as internal and employee communications, and change management.



Kandis BiglerKandiss Bigler, Meridian Healthcare Partners

Kandiss Bigler is Director of Communications, Lean Six Sigma for Meridian Healthcare Partners, the management consulting firm for Kern Medical Center.  In her current role, Kandiss manages the day to day internal communication between leadership, employees and physicians. Kandiss is also responsible for coordinating marketing campaigns for the hospital and sits on the Hospital Authority Communication Subcommittee which is currently going through a rebranding effort.  Prior to Meridian Healthcare Partners, Kandiss began her career in healthcare as a Project Manager at Managed Care Systems, where she was the working directly with Blue Shield on the implementation of the Trio product in Kern County.  Kandiss relocated from San Diego where she was Director of Communications for Southwest Value Partners, a real estate investment firm in San Diego.  Kandiss is green belt certified in Lean Six Sigma and has a Masters in Kinesiology from CSU, Fresno and an MBA from San Diego State.



Jeff-Corbin-headshot-150-150Jeff Corbin,  APPrise Mobile

As a public and investor relations consultant for the past 15 years, Jeff Corbin is pioneering the use of technology in the communications industry as the founder of APPrise Mobile, a business-to-business/enterprise native app platform that includes theEMPLOYEEapp®, for internal communications; theIRapp®, for public companies; theCOMMSapp™, for external communications; and theCONFERENCEapp™, for investor, analyst and other conference and event communications.  Jeff also serves as the CEO of KCSA Strategic Communications, and has consulted with hundreds of private organizations as well as NASDAQ and NYSE listed companies.  Through this experience, he understands how organizations communicate with their targeted audiences, how these audiences consume information as well as the importance of technology to facilitate the direct connection between a company and its audience.  Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. You can follow and connect with Jeff on Twitter @jcorbinIR.



JohannaJohanna Danaher, Pfizer Inc.

Johanna Danaher, a native New Yorker received her B.A. in Zoology and an interdisciplinary concentration in Public Relations from the University of Maine, Orono, ME, in 1995. Johanna has been a member of the Talent and Organizational Performance team at Pfizer for over 15 years and has worked in a variety of talent functions including university relations, full-cycle recruiting, employment branding, project management, strategy integration, and employee communications. Currently Johanna is leading efforts to create and deliver simple, intuitive, and reliable solutions to effectively communicate information on Pfizer’s people and talent processes.   Her work focuses on increasing alignment of communications across talent platforms and initiatives, streamlining communications processes, and improving access to Talent information to more effectively meet end-user information needs.  She is accountable for developing and continually improving Pfizer’s internal Talent Portal as the destination of learning for colleagues, managers and senior leaders.


Register Now

Employee Engagement Webinar-On-Demand - large



Trending This Week 10.30.15 – It’s Halloween: How to Face Your Fears; Beware of the Halloween Principle

CommPRO-Trending-This-WeekIn today’s Executive Briefing we focus on what was trending this week.  Leslie Grossman, Chair, Vistage International, & Author, LINK OUT: How to Turn Your Network into a Chain of Lasting Connections shows us that It’s Halloween: How to Face Your Fears (Leadership Lesson).  We also hear from Steven Gaffney Says: Beware of the Halloween Principle!

As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of CommPRO this month, 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:

Click here to view today’s post.









A New Recipe for Meat Processors

Ann BarlowBy Ann Barlow, Partner & President, Peppercomm West Coast

We carnivores read this week’s news from the World Health Organization labeling processed meats as carcinogens and red meat as a likely carcinogen with dismay if not surprise. The WHO and other health research sources have been talking about this for more than a decade. Still, if your business is related to one of these, meat lovers aren’t the only ones having a bad week.  The question is, how do you respond?

One thing we’ve learned in working with agriculture industries over the past decade or so is that we Americans know shockingly little about where our food comes from. Some of the ag companies we work with tell us that even grocery stores know precious little. So rather than either hiding from this new onslaught or trying to discredit the study, why not seize the opportunity to talk about how they produce meats and how to consume meats in moderation as part of a healthy diet?

Done right, this kind of campaign can establish some goodwill, provide some much-needed guidance (and reassurance that it’s ok to eat meat in moderation) and put more of a friendly face to an industry that is often seen as being run by a few giant companies that care more about profits than animal welfare, food safety and the family farm or ranch.

So, meat processor, some thoughts:

  1. Make it not about you. Instead, find individual ranchers, farmers or processers or other partner who can make us feel like what we consume is in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing and who cares.
  2. Educate us. For instance, ‘cured’ or ‘processed’ meat sounds like you’re chemically treating or using parts of the animal that we shudder at in this culture. Instead, help us understand that curing might be smoking the meat, for instance. Remind people that even the nitrates used in curing account for a tiny percentage of our regular intake (most comes from the vegetables we consume).
  3. Be part of the solution. For decades, you’ve helped us with things like information on meat cuts and recipes. But you’ve more than overbalanced that with criticism of studies. Instead, reinforce your message of everything in moderation. Imagine the credibility you could gain by doing that. Years ago, I worked on a program with the federal government and AT&T called Telecommute America. One of our biggest supporters for helping Americans work from home or a location close to home was Ford Motor. They generated a lot of goodwill with that stance.
  4. And keep cleaning up your act. What you can’t afford right now are more stories about contamination and inhumane treatment of animals. In many places around the industry, companies have been working to strengthen oversight and provide better conditions for cattle, pigs and chickens. Spend your resources in continuing to be better stewards and educators, rather than lobbying for laxer regulations. To be sure, regulations can be costly, unnecessarily burdensome and sometimes just downright stupid. But your reputation will be so much stronger, and you might sleep better, if you focus on the positive.

About the Author: Ann Barlow ( is a Partner and President of Peppercomm’s West Coast operations, and head of the agency’s creative-digital team. She is focused on helping clients in the food industry grow through integrated marketing programs. 

PR Measurement Conference – Nov. 18 in Chicago


Join PR News on Nov. 18, 2015 for its PR Measurement Conference at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Commit now to grounding all of your PR efforts in metrics that connect to organizational goals and prove the crucial role that communications makes in thriving b2c and b2b companies, nonprofits and professional associations. Early Bird rates end Oct. 23.

The PR News faculty of PR measurement experts will explore the inescapable role of measurement in communications, and show you how to develop a measurable communications program for media relations, social media, crisis management and brand enhancement. You’ll get updates on the latest trends in measurement standards, with an emphasis on real-world case-study applications of measurement concepts. Extend your stay in Chicago by also signing up for PR News’ SEO Boot Camp, taking place the day before the Measurement Conference.












The Role of Branded Online Newsrooms in the News Reporting Process (ON-DEMAND WEBINAR)



Webinar Overview


As news reporting continues to evolve rapidly, the branded online newsroom increases in value and solidifies itself as the ultimate communications center for an organization. From corporate press releases to blog posts to specialized, industry stories and articles, the duty of the digital newsroom is to house and distribute a manifold of desired and trusted, brand-created content. Furthermore, the branded newsroom must contribute to the overall optimization strategy.

This session will motivate and educate, reaffirming the need to focus on and update your company’s online newsroom. Methods will be shared on how to strengthen the newsroom’s effectiveness, how to prepare for mobile devices, how to supply content most desired by media, and how to use tools within the newsroom that are essential to a communications professional.

  1. Identify and view examples of each of the Top 5 types of content most desired by media.
  2. Enhance a digital newsroom, strengthen SEO and solidify thought leadership within the industry.
  3. Learn how and when to use online newsroom resources such as email alerts, email broadcasts, the Dark Site crisis module and more.

About Our Presenter


Ibrey-Woodall-headshotIbrey Woodall, VP Web Communications Services, Business Wire

As VP Web Communications Services, Ibrey is responsible for Business Wire’s NewsHQ Online Newsroom product. She is a published writer and active industry speaker. Woodall holds a B.A. in Mass Communications and a CIW Webmaster Certification. She has been involved in launching online newsrooms for 3M, Aetna, Bank of America, DISH,  Krispy Kreme, Logitech, Merck, Office Depot, PRSA, Procter & Gamble, Ryder System, Staples and many more.

Contact Info:

954-474-8833– ext. 248,

Twitter: @IbreyWoodall







A Mobile Minute with theIRapp™

Stop AAPI Hate: The Role of Communicators – Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2021 (ON-DEMAND VIDEO)

Watch the On-Demand Video


The Museum of Public Relations hosted its 2nd Annual “Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month” observance on Wednesday, May 12. Please join us for this on-demand event, which focuses on the heartbreaking rise of anti-Asian hate and violence in the U.S., including the recent shootings in Atlanta where eight people were killed—six of them Asian women. Our discussion focuses on the role of communicators in helping to #StopAAPIHate.

Event Organizers

Angela Chitkara, World in 2020, Researcher and Consultant

Shelley Spector, Founder, Museum of Public Relations; President, Spector & Associates

Patrice Tanaka, Founder, Joyful Planet LLC; Co-Founder, Padilla, CRT/tanaka and PT&Co.


Srikant Ramaswami, MS., JD, Head, U.S. Pharma Communication, GSK


Bill Imada, Chairman and Chief Connectivity Officer, IW Group

Joanne Tabellija-Murphy, National Director, Public Affairs-Corporate Affairs, Walmart.


Helen Ames, Partner, FINN Partners

Suzy An, Vice President, Porter Novelli, Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Leader

Jennifer Choi, Director, Equity Initiatives at Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY

Debbie Ebalobo, Director, Global External and Financial Communications, The Coca-Cola Company

May Lee,Host and Executive Producer of “The May Lee Show”

Carolyn Lok, National President, Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)

Elliot Lum, Executive Vice President, Growth and Community, Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and author of Entrepreneurial Confessions

Ted Nguyen,Department Manager, Public Communications & Media Relations at Orange County Transportation Authority

Bey-Ling Sha,Dean, College of Communications at California State University, Fullerton

Rema Vasan,President, Marina Maher Communications (MMC)

Natasha Vuppuluri,SVP, Director of Marketing at MSL, VP/President-Elect, PRSA Chicago

Crystal Witter, Account Supervisor, Golin

Stephanie Chang,MAIP 2021 Fellow, Advertising Student at University of Florida

Wrap-up Moderator

Richard Lui, MSNBC anchor/civil rights reporter; author of Enough About Me


This year’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month event is sponsored in part by the Bonnie Yablon Foundation, Hunter:; Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia; Page; Talkwalker; Finn Partners; APCO Worldwide; The Stevens Group; Pat Ford; James Lukaszewski; CommPRO; Joyful Planet; World In 2020; and Muck Rack.


This Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month event is part of the Museum of Public Relations’ ongoing “Diversity Series,” showcasing PR Women in History, Black PR History, Latino PR History and the LGBTQ Experience in Public Relations.

Watch the On-Demand Video

Trustee to the Employment Commons Opolis Completes $4.75M Funding Round

CommPRO Editorial Staff

Opolis, the Trustee to the Opolis Employment Commons, announced the completion of a Series Seed II equity and grants funding round. Opolis raised $5M from multiple strategic communities, DAOs, DeFi projects, investment syndicates, and high net-worth blockchain and HR-Tech industry investors.

With 20 investors and grantors from six continents, the funding syndicate was one of the most diversified and community-led in the blockchain industry. BadgerDAO, Metacartel Ventures, ConsenSys, MakerDAO Foundation, MetaPurse, AngelDAO, CSP DAO, Pickle Finance, Fission Capital, GIGA Foundation, Senary Ventures, ID Theory, NodeSeeds, Redbeard Ventures, Rockies Venture Club, Mitchell Martin, MetisDAO, Magic Labs, Lionschain Capital, and ColoraDAO are among the many that participated in the funding through a combination of equity and grants.

John Paller, Executive Steward of Opolis said, “We set out to demonstrate that ‘communities funding communities’ is the new norm for early-stage funding of key infrastructural projects in Web3. Gathering investors and funders whose long-term goals are in alignment with that of other ecosystem stakeholders was top priority for us. We couldn’t be more grateful for the support of such wonderful communities and their members.”

The Opolis Employment Commons Independent Worker Coalition has grown by more than 2,500 global Members across 63 countries since the launch.

In addition to the funding round syndicate, notable Coalition Organizational Members include APY.Vision, Array.Finance, Bankless, Blockchain Accelerator Foundation, BrightID, ChaysrDAO, Commons Stack, Crux, DAOHaus, ETHDenver, FIO Protocol, Gitcoin, Giveth, MakerDAO, Meta Gamma Delta, Merkle Mountain, NEAR, Quantstamp, Peeps PoolParty, POAP, MetaCartel, Metafactory, MetaGame, RaidGuild, Reflexer, Serotonin, ShapeShift, Sobol, Superfluid, SushiSwap, The Graph, UMA, Unique.One, Wyre, XERO, and over 50 more from the Blockchain and HR-Tech communities.

Bill Warren, a member of the Opolis Employment Commons Board of Stewards and Co-Founder of Peeps PoolParty said, “We are very excited to see so many quality people and organizations joining the Independent Worker Coalition. The future of work is bright and we look forward to reshaping how individuals relate to their employment in a fundamental way.”

Source: Blockchain Wire

Bitcoin Association Releases Annual Report

CommPRO Editorial Staff

Bitcoin Association, the Switzerland-based global industry organisation that works to advance business with the Bitcoin SV blockchain and BSV digital currency, has released its second annual report, highlighting its work and achievements throughout 2020.

The report, which is available for download now on the Bitcoin Association website, is the first to be released since Bitcoin Association transitioned to a non-profit association (Verein) in Switzerland. It is broken into 13 sections and covers the multi-faceted global programme of work undertaken by Bitcoin Association in 2020, including:

  • Members
  • Bitcoin SV network progress
  • Events
  • Ecosystem
  • Developer initiatives
  • Technical standards
  • Education
  • Public policy
  • China
  • Media & content
  • Team
  • Ambassadors

Outlook for 2021
Highlights from the report include:

  • The significant technical progress made by the Bitcoin SV network – including new world record block sizes and demonstrated transaction capacity.
  • Bitcoin Association’s innovative digital events programme in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – including the inaugural Bitcoin SV DevCon and the 3rd Bitcoin SV Hackathon.
  • The launch of the Bitcoin SV Technical Standards Committee to improve interoperability and introduce standardisation across the Bitcoin SV ecosystem.
  • The release of Bitcoin SV Academy – a dedicated online learning platform offering university-style, academia-quality educational resources about Bitcoin – in addition to the launch of the world’s first Bitcoin-focused massive open online course (MOOC) in partnership with Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.
  • Significant progress in the public policy arena, including advisory work during the drafting phase of the landmark Digital Assets Business Bill 2020 in Antigua & Barbuda, which introduced a comprehensive legislative and regulatory framework to govern businesses within its jurisdiction operating in the digital asset space.

Source: Blockchain Wire

Icecap Launches NFT for Diamond and Jewelry Collectibles

CommPRO Editorial Staff

Icecap, LLC, the first company to offer investment-grade diamonds via NFT technology, announced the launch of tokenized “Icecap Collectibles,” a selection of high-end natural and rare colored diamonds, plus unique finished jewelry pieces. Initial offerings will include an intense red diamond valued at approximately $3 million USD.

The announcement came during Icecap’s prestigious launch event held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in the Dubai International Financial Center, following the company’s recent relocation of its headquarters to Dubai.

Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are blockchain-based tokens which document ownership of real world or virtual world assets. They recently gained worldwide attention in March when an NFT representing ownership of a piece of digital art was sold by Christie’s for $69 million. As blockchain tokens, once sold they can move efficiently between buyers/sellers for trading purposes on NFT exchanges.

“NFT technology has opened up diamonds as an asset class for diversification,” explained Jacques Voorhees, CEO. “Diamonds typically out-perform inflation, but now with NFT technology diamonds can be bought, sold, and traded almost as efficiently as gold and silver. Thanks to NFTs, we might say the world’s hardest asset is now liquid.”

Icecap is the brainchild of the father/son team of Jacques Voorhees, who revolutionized the diamond industry in the 1980’s by introducing online trading technology via Polygon, and Erik Voorhees, the well-known bitcoin advocate and founder of ShapeShift.

“Interest in diamonds as an investment goes back over a thousand years,” continued Voorhees. “But diamonds are not fungible—each one is unique. The technology of non-fungible tokens now makes it easy to trade this asset class without the friction of having to track the physical product itself—which is kept secure, vaulted, and insured.”

Icecap’s diamond tokens are traded on the world’s largest NFT exchange, A buyer can hold the token as an investment, sell the token to liquidate, or redeem the token and take delivery of the physical diamond itself—which can later be re-tokenized if desired.

Source: Blockchain Wire

Why GOP Members Of Congress Need A Refresher Course in History 101 & Why It Provides A PR Lesson

 Arthur Solomon

Everyone should be a student of history so they can see that the similarity of what happened in the past often resembles current events and pooh-poohing the similarities are foolish. 

Rep. Liz Cheney

The most recent example of the past resembling the present occurred on May 12, when the Republican members of the House of Representatives voted out Rep. Liz Chaney from her leadership position because she spoke the truth about the twice-impeached former president of the United States Donald Trump, saying that he is a danger to American democracy, which is evident because of the actions of the disgraced former resident of New York.

The nexus between what has happened in the years since Trump first marched down the stairway of his Trump Tower on June 16, 2015, to declare his candidacy and what is happening in our country today is frightening to everyone that believes in democracy.

Unfortunately, the GOP leadership is more concerned with being the dominant party, even if it means supporting an individual whose poisonous rants led to the storming of the Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to prevent the duly elected Joe Biden from being declared the president.

In his May 11 Wall Street Journal “Capital Journal” column, Gerald F. Seib wrote that the ouster of Rep. Chaney was an attempt by GOP House minority leader Kevin McCarthy “not to expand Mr. Trump’s role in the party but to control it,” because by her continuing to criticize the former president for his undemocratic actions, Mr. Seib says, Rep. Chaney is keeping Trump in the news.

Mr. Seib is certainly entitled to his opinion, but so am I and I disagree with his. I believe that history shows that forthright criticism of an individual is necessary to counteract a movement. In fact, Mr. Seib led his column describing how GOP leaders wrongfully thought that they could control the Tea Party in 2009 by humoring its followers while keeping them under control.

If Mr. Seib is correct in his assumption that the ouster of Rep. Chaney from her leadership position was an attempt to control Trump, Rep. McCarthy and the other member of his caucus better take a refresher course in history.

On January 30, 1933, Hitler was sworn in as chancellor of Germany with the backing of conservative German politicians that agreed with many of his policies, even though they thought some were extreme. But they believed that once in power, Hitler would moderate his policies and that they could control him and eventually replace him. Sounds familiar? It should if you know history 101.

Stripping Rep. Chaney of her leadership position because of her criticism of an autocratic twice-impeached president is another form of appeasement, also a 1930s political tactic against Hitler that failed.

Students of history know that. So should Republican members of the House and Senate. If the majority of the GOP House caucus agrees with Mr. Seib’s belief that the ouster of Rep. Chaney from her leadership position was an attempt to diminish Mr. Trump’s popularity, a refresher course in history is necessary.

On May 12, Rep, Chaney was stripped of her leadership role because the majority of the GOP House caucus backed the wishes of a horrible, bitter, human being whose Big Lie campaign is destroying our democracy.

The vote against Rep. Chaney was itself proof that our democracy is waning. Instead of it being conducted in a manner so that people could see how their representatives voted, minority leader McCarthy limited it to a voice vote. So while Trump continues to spread the Big Lie, Rep. McCarthy has instituted the Big Secret.

From this day forward, the 2020 GOP House caucus should be known as the Big Lie Party. And former president Donald Trump will go down in history as the Biggest Liar.

The revenge by the GOP leadership against Rep. Chaney provides an important PR lesson that many people in our business know and those new to our business should know: Sadly, being a team player is much more often the path to advancement than being correct. 

The Unspoken PR Tenet: Bad News Is Good News for Our Business By Arthur SolomonAbout the Author: Arthur Solomon, a former journalist, was a senior VP/senior counselor at Burson-Marsteller, and was responsible for restructuring, managing and playing key roles in some of the most significant national and international sports and non-sports programs. He also traveled internationally as a media adviser to high-ranking government officials. He now is a frequent contributor to public relations publications, consults on public relations projects and is on the Seoul Peace Prize nominating committee. He can be reached at arthursolomon4pr (at) or


I am an Asian American Woman! 

(Editor’s Note:  This post originally ran on March 22, 2021.  Patrice Tanaka’s powerful point-of-view will be shared tonight during the Stop AAPI Hate: The Role of Communicators – Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2021 Free Virtual Event, hosted by The Museum of Public Relations. Register here:

Patrice TanakaPatrice Tanaka, Founder & Chief Joy Officer,  Joyful Planet LLC

I walked home Saturday from my pedicure appointment, continuously scanning the people around me and gripping my heavy, black bag to use as a weapon in case someone attacked me.  I’ve never walked the mean streets of Upper East Side Manhattan, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street on such high alert.  In the wake of last Tuesday’s shooting of eight people – including six Asian women – I feel less safe in the city I love and have lived in for more than 40 years.

Last week’s shooting is part of the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes over the past year of the pandemic, fomented by former President Trump who repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as the “China virus” and “Kung flu.” More than 3,800 anti-Asian hate crimes have been documented by the coalition, Stop AAPI Hate, since March 2020.  Sadly, what it revealed is that women reported hate incidences 2.3 times more often than men.  

The intersectionality of anti-Asian hate and violence against women is deeply troubling to me as an Asian American woman and someone who has focused on girl- and women’s leadership and gender equity for the past 30 years and who served as a trustee for Futures Without Violence for a decade.

Last Monday in, I wrote a post entitled, “I am Woman!,” for Women’s History Month and shared it on social media, saying, “It’s a glorious time to be a woman.  A time to finish what Hilary Clinton called “the great unfinished business of the 21st century.”  I was buoyed by enthusiasm for our nation’s first female Vice President and the gender-balanced leadership reflected in President Biden’s Cabinet picks.

In that post I shared that, “Growing up in Hawaii, Asian Americans were in a majority so I had the luxury of not having to think about my ethnicity or considering it any type of ‘disadvantage.’ Even after I moved to New York City in my early 20’s and became part of an ethnic minority for the first time in my life, I still didn’t think about my ethnicity.”

I became more conscious of my Asian American identify when I got involved in co-founding the Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute in 1993.  I learned that, growing up on what we in Hawaii referred to as “the Mainland,” being an Asian American or Pacific Islander often meant you were the only one in your neighborhood, school or community.  It meant that you felt your “otherness” every day of your life.  

Moreover, back in the 90’s, being an Asian American woman leader was a rarity.  You rarely saw Asian American leaders on the national level, much less Asian American “women leaders.” In the 90’s, the faces of the few women at leadership tables were largely white.  

I’ve spent decades since the 90’s focused on women’s leadership, women of color leadership and AAPI women’s leadership.

Since George Floyd’s murder last May, I have been more strongly focused on helping to create greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in all communities that I am involved.  My focus and that of others committed to DEI have been on Black and Brown communities.  I wasn’t really focused on the AAPI community even though there have been ongoing incidences of anti-Asian violence covered by the media.

Last week’s shooting in Atlanta got my attention like a punch to the gut.

I understand now what it feels like when you want to scream that six Asian women were murdered in an anti-Asian hate crime and the world is somewhat oblivious to this and simply going on about its business.  Yes, the media covered the Atlanta shootings, AAPI groups sounded alarm bells about the latest hate crime against Asians, and major companies who’ve publicly committed to a greater focus on DEI expressed support for the AAPI community.  

In the wake of the shootings, I’ve found myself relentlessly posting and sharing support for the AAPI community, trying to keep the story alive in the face of human nature simply wanting to return to homeostasis.  Some people on social media have responded to my posts asking, how do you know it was an anti-Asian hate crime?  One even called me a “racist” for characterizing it as an “anti-Asian hate crime.”

Since Tuesday’s shooting, I’ve continued to work from home – answering emails, attending meetings, taping a TV show and a podcast and posting on social media. Often those I’m communicating with have not even acknowledged, what for me feels like the AAPI community’s “George Floyd” murder, even though the country didn’t watch it relentlessly replayed on national news and social media, and the names of the victims were unknown to us until days later.  

I’ve felt somewhat disconnected to others because of this lack of acknowledgment of the murder of those six Asian women in Atlanta. 

In the days following the shooting:

A few Black, Brown and white friends checked in on me to see if I was ok.

A couple of upper middle class, Asian American women with whom I text nearly every day were not really tuned into the Atlanta shootings – one was helping a friend move and the other was focused on her family.

A few friends and professional colleagues I’ve been working with to co-organize an AAPI event focused on #StopAsianHate and someone else who asked me to write about the shooting for their community, surprisingly, didn’t ask me how I was feeling/doing.  But, in truth, I didn’t ask them either.  I was in my own bubble.

I participated on a Zoom call Wednesday with a group of good people focused on enhancing our organization’s commitment to DEI and no one acknowledged the shooting in Atlanta.

I love all these people and don’t mean to judge them harshly. I’m just reporting what I’ve experienced over a few days post-Atlanta shootings when the world changed for me, but, I realized, not too many people I engaged with noticed or felt the same way.  

I think many Americans, myself included, have been more focused on discrimination and hate crimes against Black and Brown people, but not so much against Asian Americans, especially when they are informed by the “model minority” myth that our group does not experience struggle or racial discrimination along with statistics, revealing Asian Americans to be the highest earning racial and ethnic group in the U.S.  This enviable status, however, is not shared by all Asians. In fact, income inequality in the U.S. is greatest among Asians.  Asians displaced blacks as the most economically divided racial or ethnic group in the U.S., according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data.

Historically and culturally, Asian Americans have kept their heads down and just soldiered on in the face of injustice and violence.  I didn’t even learn about Japanese Americans being incarcerated during World War II until I was in college because that generation felt such shame about this chapter in their lives that they never spoke about it.

When asked if there had been a moment paralleling the Atlanta shooting, poet and essayist, Cathy Park Hong in a recent interview, “Why this Wave of Anti-Asian Racism Feels Different” in The Atlantic, cited the killing of Vincent Chin in 1982, which she said led to an outcry among Chinese and Japanese Americans. 

I remember the murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese American draftsman, who was beaten to death in 1982 by two white men, a Chrysler plant supervisor and his stepson, a laid-off autoworker.  They beat him to death with a baseball bat out of anger that Japanese automotive imports had hastened the decline of Detroit’s Big Three companies.  It didn’t matter that Vincent Chin was Chinese not Japanese.  The men who murdered Vincent Chin got away with this murder by paying a $3,000 fine and serving a three-year probation with no jail time.

Partly because of Trump, Hong explained, “There has been a retrenchment of identities and people have been more upfront in talking about race and structural inequities in this country.  This has resulted in more Asians speaking up.”  

And speaking up is what we Asian Americans and our allies must do to make sure that “anti-Asian hate crimes” is understood to be a real thing.  We can’t leave hate crimes to be characterized by others, including Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jay Baker, who explained that eight people were dead because the shooter had “a bad day.”

It’s important that we Asian Americans report hate crimes, speak up about them, enlist allies to march with us to make our grievances more “media-genic” to generate greater attention, and demand justice until we get it.  I’ve been seeing Asian Americans emerge from silence on social media to tell personal stories of hate crimes against them.  We need more Asian Americans to step up and be “visible” so that the idea of anti-Asian hate crimes can become more “visible,” too.

Importantly, we Asian Americans must continue to build cross-cultural community among AAs – there are 20+ ethnic identities in this group – and build bridges between Blacks, Latinos, indigenous populations and other immigrant groups so we can build a coalition to fight strongly for social justice for all.  

Becoming a “majority-minority” country is right around the corner, sometime between 2041 and 2046 (depending on incoming immigration).  Last year in 2020, ethnic minority children were projected to comprise the majority of children in the U.S.

The best thing to emerge from last week’s horrific shooting in Atlanta was the healing wave of allyship expressed by people of conscience, public figures, media commentators, companies, non-profits and other organizations.  I’ve never before seen such a groundswell of support for the AAPI community and it feels good to know that we Asian Americans are part of a coalition of individuals and organizations committed to a fair and just America.  

I am an Asian American woman committed to fighting for this America.

About the Author: After an award-winning PR & Marketing career and co-founding three agencies, Patrice Tanaka started Joyful Planet, working with individuals and organizations to discover and actively live or operationalize their purpose and unleash greater success, fulfillment and joy in their personal lives, workplaces, and communities. Joyful Planet is Patrice’s vision of 7.7 billion people living their purpose and leveraging their talent, expertise and passion in service of others. Life and organizational purpose are the subjects of Patrice’s best-selling books, Beat the Curve and Performance360. She has been honored by PRWeek (Hall of Fame inductee), PRSA Foundation (Paladin Award), PRSA (Paul M. Lund Award for Public Service), New York Women in Communications (Matrix Award), among others. Patrice is Immediate Past Co-Chair of the Diversity Action Alliance, a PR industry-wide coalition of 15 influential organizations committed to action on diversity, equity and inclusion. She has also served as a trustee and volunteer for many organizations committed to girl- and women’s leadership development, economic empowerment and gender equity.

Reach Patrice via LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram

Wallet Security: 5 More Ways To Keep Hackers’ Paws Off Your Crypto

Mary Ann Callahan, Marketing Manager, CEX.IO

As of the writing of this article, the cryptocurrency market is rising to levels never seen before. Prices are increasing, which is once again leading to cryptocurrency becoming the talk of the town. Major news networks and resources are talking about crypto, which leads to even more people becoming interested in the space.

Unfortunately, more attention coming to the industry also means more people attempting to hack wallets and platforms. With many new users who might not know how to secure their crypto, hackers are becoming more active. There have been many hacks throughout the years in the crypto space, and there will sure to be many more attempts in the future, especially as the industry grows larger.

Because of this, you should put some effort to keep your crypto as safe and secure as possible. With that in mind, this blog post goes over five great tactics for keeping hackers away from your cryptocurrency.

Choose a Secure Wallet 

The first way to keep hackers away from your crypto is to choose the right wallet. This is a storage, where you will put your cryptocurrency. Some wallets will even let you exchange/purchase crypto right in the wallet. The biggest factor in the decision of which wallet to use should generally be security.

For example, choosing storage like WLX Wallet is a good idea as it features encryption, undergoes frequent audits and penetration testing. Be sure to check here if you want to learn more about the wallet and see if it is the right choice for you. In addition to security, you also want to choose a wallet that has a good reputation.

2FA and a Strong Password is Key

If your password is basic or too easy to guess, it can be akin to a welcome mat for hackers. You should choose a password that is long enough and is not related to you and your family at all. For best results, be sure to use a password that contains letters, numbers, and some other symbols.

In addition to a hard-to-guess password, it is smart to use 2FA (which stands for two-factor authentication). This means you will have to provide another piece of evidence to show you are the owner of the account. This could include entering a code that was texted to your phone, or a randomly generated code from an authentication map. 

If someone somehow manages to guess your password, 2FA will ensure your account and cryptocurrency is safe.

Be Cautious of Public Wifi Networks

Always be wary when using public Wi-Fi networks. While they are convenient, they are not secure. Hackers can potentially position themselves between you and the network, which could lead to you sending personal information and details to them.

For best results, ensure you are using a private Wi-Fi connection if you are making trades or transactions. Also, whether you are using your private Wi-Fi at home, or public Wi-Fi on the go, it is smart to use a VPN. This can keep all of your browsing activity safe from unwanted eyes. They are generally affordable, only costing a few dollars every month or so.

Keep a Watchful Eye Out for Phishing

While hackers can sometimes gain access to accounts and platforms through guessing passwords or other means, oftentimes, it is the account owner who gives it to them. Phishing is when hackers send emails or messages that seem legitimate to users. This is done in hopes of coaxing the login details of an account out of the user. For example, they might pose as your wallet or trading platform, asking you to log in with your username and password to verify your account again.

These hackers often set up a web page to look similar to the real thing, which they will link to. Once you enter your password and username, the hacker will know your password and username and have easy access to your accounts.

If you receive an email with a link in it, always be cautious. Look at the sender, as well as the URL, and make sure they are legitimate. In general, it is never a good idea to click a link in an email unless you know with 100% certainty that it is legitimate and not a phishing attempt. Instead, simply go to the actual site of the wallet or platform, and sign in there.

Keep Your Software and Devices Updated

Another tick to keep hackers away is to keep your devices updated. Your phone, tablet, and computer should all be updated to their most recent versions. This is because new updates often patch up any old weaknesses in the security of the device. The same goes for any antivirus software you might be using. Hackers are frequently coming up with new and unique methods to gain access to your accounts (and thus your funds), and security software is always making changes and adding features to keep up.

If you don’t make the proper updates, there could be vulnerabilities in the security of your device that allow these hackers easy access. Their methods are always changing and becoming robust, so you need to take the security of your devices very seriously. While many updates will happen automatically, this isn’t always the case. So, be sure to keep a watchful eye.

In conclusion, these are some of the best ways to make sure hackers’ hands stay off of your crypto. Whether you decide to choose the right wallet, utilize 2FA, or use each of the aforementioned tips, you can ensure that they will help you keep your cryptocurrency safe and sound. Always keep your personal and login information to yourself, as well.

It’s Crypto Time

“It is a highly speculative asset, and I think
people should beware, it can be extremely volatile.”
 —Janet Yellen

Today, just a dozen years after its introduction, about 14% of Americans own cryptocurrency, with the value worldwide at about $2.4 trillion – or twice that of all U.S. currency in circulation. Yet how many of us fully understand the concept or the risks, let alone the jargon? Dogecoin, for example, is still trading well below the levels it hit just before Elon Musk appeared on Saturday Night Live and called it a “hustle.” The value of Bitcoin is almost 551% over its value a year ago. What happens when the value goes the other way? Is it a currency or a security? How should it be regulated?

As the first episode in a series on cryptocurrency, Amy Kim, Chief Policy Officer for the Chamber for Digital Commerce, joined the weekly podcast, Real Washington, that I co-host with Michael Zeldin of That Said with Michael Zeldin on CommPRO, to discuss issues including a national action plan for blockchain, Anti-Money Laundering (ALM) and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) compliance, regulatory clarity for digital tokens and promoting the use of blockchain in business.

Happy listening.

Richard Levick

Listen to the episode

A Conversation with Peter Baker & Susan Glasser – Authors of “The Man Who Ran Washington: the Life and Times of James Baker III”


Join Michael Zeldin as he interviews Peter Baker and Susan Glasser– authors of “The Man Who Ran Washington: the Life and Times of James Baker III,” a chief of staff and secretary of state for 25 years, an era when Washington was regarded as the world’s political center.  The authors will discuss how Baker’s legacy compares with the current officials in DC and lessons we can learn about the administrations he helped to lead.


Peter Baker & Susan Glasser

Peter Baker is the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, a political analyst for MSNBC, and author of Days of Fire and @JamesBakeThe Breach. Susan Glasser is a staff writer for The New Yorker and author of its weekly “Letter from Trump’s Washington” as well as a CNN global affairs analyst. Their first assignment as a married couple was as Moscow bureau chiefs for The Washington Post, after which they wrote Kremlin Rising. Today they live in Washington, D.C., with their son.





Michael Zeldin

Michael Zeldin is a well-known and highly-regarded TV and radio analyst/commentator.

He has covered many high-profile matters, including the Clinton impeachment proceedings, the Gore v. Bush court challenges, Special Counsel Robert Muller’s investigation of interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the Trump impeachment proceedings. 

In 2019, Michael was a Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he taught a study group on Independent Investigations of Presidents.

Previously, Michael was a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice. He also served as Deputy Independent/ Independent Counsel, investigating allegations of tampering with presidential candidate Bill Clinton’s passport files, and as Deputy Chief Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Committee, October Surprise Task Force, investigating the handling of the American hostage situation in Iran.

Michael is a prolific writer and has published Op-ed pieces for, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Hill, The Washington Times, and The Washington Post.

Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelZeldin

Get Found Online

Jill Kurtz, Owner, Kurtz Digital Strategy

Google now processes around 63,000 Google searches per second. That’s 3.8 million per minute and 228 million per hour. When people search for the product or service you offer will they find you?

Every business needs to take an intentional approach to search engine optimization (SEO) to make sure they are seen online. Organize your valuable information in a way that makes it easy for search engines to find and you will earn higher rankings. This means more visitors to your website.

Start with research.

Understand all that you can about your business: your goals, your products and services, your differentiators, your competitors and more. Understand what people are looking for and how you fit in.

Identify your keywords.

What words, terms, and phrases are people searching today that should lead them to you? You need to know your keywords so you can structure your online presence to use them.

Make your web pages search-friendly.

Structure your website and key pages for SEO. Search engines take clues from page titles, heads and subheads, image tags, content, and link text. Make sure all of these make your value clear.

Remove any blockers.

Search crawlers get hung up when sites aren’t set up properly. Google Search Console and Google webmaster guidelines will let you know if you have any technical issues. They will also guide you on how to fix them.

Stick with it.

Search engine optimization is never done. Your SEO will be influenced by changes in search algorithms, user search behavior, competition and more. For example, the trend toward more searches being done on mobile devices has led Google to add mobile-friendly and speed factors to search rank.

Regularly revisit your SEO set up. Recheck keywords. Read up on any changes in Google’s approach.

Batteries in the Modern Energy Market (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

By 2025, the renewable energy market will reach $1.5 trillion.  That’s incredible growth from where the industry was in 2019, when renewables powered the equivalent of 43.5 million homes in the US alone.  While world governments are supporting the transition to sustainable fuel, the switch is also powered by massive market demand.  71% of Americans think clean energy should be a priority, and nearly half of consumers would be willing to pay more per month to get energy from a renewable source.

Providing renewable, reliable energy to millions requires a better battery.  In 2019, less than 5% of behind-the-meter solar systems included any battery at all.  Because wind and solar are both intermittent energy sources, they need to store the energy they generate for when consumers need it.  Consumers don’t only want power on sunny, windy days, so why should that be the only times they get it?  Right now, the alternative to battery usage is net metering.  Residential solar systems use net metering to sell excess power to utility companies.  Utilities dislike this arrangement because it allows homeowners to use their infrastructure at no cost.  In 43 states, net metering regulations are changing such that the process can be phased out.  Unless replaced with a power storage system, solar will become less financially viable in the absence of net metering.

While batteries fill the gap, there are limitations to using the most conventional ones.  Lithium-ion batteries currently fuel everything from electric vehicles to smartphones.  Invented in 1912, they have changed little from their original form.  By next year, lithium-ion batteries are anticipated to fuel 61% of demand for renewables.  The problem is that lithium-ion batteries degrade over time and quickly lose storage capacity.  Fully discharging the battery will shorten its usable lifespan.  Producing the batteries is water intensive and lithium mining scars entire landscapes.  Furthermore, recycling lithium-ion batteries is difficult and costly.  While still the best option for mobile applications, a green future should not be built on the back of lithium-ion batteries.

The future of energy storage is vanadium flow batteries.  Vanadium batteries don’t degrade from full discharge, they have 25+ years of useful life, and recycled vanadium retains full functionality, making it a sustainable battery choice.  Additionally, vanadium flow batteries are non-flammable, non-explosive, and less vulnerable to variable temperatures than their lithium-ion counterparts.  Invest in a greener future with renewable energy and vanadium flow batteries.


The Modern Energy Market


Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

How to Make Team Building a Priority at Your Company

Samantha Higgins

Your business will only succeed if the people who support it succeed. Team building is the most important investment you can make in your company and your employees. It must be your organization’s top priority.

Activities That Prioritize Teambuilding

Teambuilding does not happen by accident. It requires activities that are specifically designed to maximize team performance.

Virtual team building activities, like virtual escape rooms, serve as a bonding experience that allows the team to work together to address complex situations. Activities that are nonvirtual for team building, like multi-day team-building retreats, can build a deep bond between team members.

A team that works together well will trust one another. They can mitigate conflicts, communicate well, and collaborate as a team. Good team building leads to engaged employees. This bodes well for your company’s culture, growth, and productivity.

When team members learn to work together, they learn more about themselves as individuals. They are helped to identify their communication style and then make improvements when it comes time to communicating with others.

Activities that prioritize team building offer a break from the norm. They allow your team to reset and get refreshed. Your team can relax its collective mind and then approach new challenges and problems from a unique angle.

Build Team Cohesion While Doing Something Good

Playing games, going on retreats, and engaging in entertainment can help your employees create a shared cause. Having a shared cause eliminates awkward or forced small talk.

If you are looking for a way to encourage your team to work together better without having them compete against each other, consider volunteering. Volunteering allows you to build your team and do something good for the community.

Other positive yet non-competitive forms of team building include hiking trips, biking trips, or spending the day canoeing. Your team members are active, but they are not competing with each other.

There is nothing wrong with team-building days or team-building exercises that relate to the industry you work in. Employees can learn something new related to the trade and form a stronger bond with each other.

It does not need to be complicated. Simply sharing a meal together is a time-honored way of building strong relationships.

What is important is that the team feels motivated and relaxed. They should feel like they have done something that harnesses their strengths and allows them to work together.

Common Goals Create a Common Purpose

To put together an amazing team, you need to set clear goals. Imagine a football team that had no apparent goal or direction. There would be a bunch of people running through on a field with no purpose. They would go nowhere fast.

As a leader in your organization, you set the pace that your team follows. Having clear goals can help you choose the right people for your team based on the attributes that can make your team better.

From the beginning, your team should clearly understand your expectations. Your team should know what the expected outcomes are. And they should understand their role in the work being done and the decision-making process.

From time to time, present your team with problems that are difficult to solve and that require the team to work together to create unique solutions. You will notice that as your team works as a unit when they are focused on a purpose, they will understand how their individual roles influence the big picture.

Encourage Team building While Appreciating the Individual

While in a good team the needs of the many are prioritized over the needs of the few or the needs of the one, this does not mean that the individual is irrelevant.

Teams are composed of a diverse group of people who have personal goals, values, and opinions. All of this adds to the team’s experience. Similarly, no two people work together in the same way. These differences must be appreciated. They add value to the team.


Team-building takes time and energy. You need to see it as an investment. Your organization will only be as strong as the team that you build. When a team has common goals and team cohesion, they will communicate well, work together well, and accomplish the tasks assigned.

About the Author: Samantha Higgins is a professional writer with a passion for research, observation, and innovation. She is nurturing a growing family of twin boys in Portland, Oregon with her husband. She loves kayaking and reading creative non-fiction. 

The Advertising & Media Summit: The Great Consumer Reset

CDX Accelerate Program: May 26-27 (Virtual Event)



The Advertising & Media Summit: The Great Consumer Reset will focus on how consumer engagement and experiences evolve in a post-pandemic world. This latest Accelerate event from CDX will bring together leaders from advertising, media and entertainment, brands, technology, academia, and consumer research. Global consumers have had a full year to modify their behaviors, form new or modified habits for shopping, media consumption, and brand engagement.

Join us as we host our second virtual Accelerate conference May 26-27.

Get your complimentary RSVP HERE.

Corporate Social Responsibility: The Risks and Rewards of Pursuing ESG Priorities

Companies that act in an ethical, responsible manner can create a huge advantage in recruiting, retention and sales. An expert shares how to pursue meaningful, sustainable programs.

Robby Brumberg, Editor,

As feather-haired Andre Agassi boldly stated in a bygone era: “Image is everything.”

That’s still kind of true. But a more precise update for 2021 would be: “Reputation is everything.”

Jessie Sitnick, VP of corporate and public affairs at Toronto-based Argyle, shared a wealth of tremendous guidance with Ragan’s Crisis Leadership Network members on the perils and benefits of pursuing an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) plan. Sitnick, who previously spent a decade in the environmental sector, says her career has largely focused on the “E” in ESG. But that’s just one ingredient in a much larger strategic stew.

To begin, she clarified the difference between ESG, CSR and corporate philanthropy. They’re all similar—and certainly related—but important distinctions include:

Continue reading here…

Is Excedrin Out of Its Mind?


Dr. David Hagenbuch, Ethicist and Professor of Marketing, Messiah University, Author of Honorable Influence, Founder of 

Businesses need to do many things well to be successful, but the most basic is getting people to buy their products.  So, why would a company that markets migraine medicine want to help people find other ways to deal with their headaches?  What is Excedrin thinking?!

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), maker of Excedrin, one of the world’s best-known pain management products, recently decided to target video gamers, a cohort whose long hours of intent focus on video screens often create the condition the brand is built to cure—headaches.

It’s not surprising that gamers are susceptible to headaches.  Research by Limelight Network found that video game players spend an average of six hours and 20 minutes a week participating in their pastime.  However, that average is deceptive:  Binge-gaming is on the rise, and most gamers report “having played for more than four hours consecutively.”

A ‘half-workday’ or more glued to a video screen could give anyone a migraine.  It’s not surprising, therefore, that Excedrin’s website claims that “89% of gamers have experienced gaming related headaches.”  It also adds that “80% simply play through the pain.”

Targeting gamers for headache remedies seems like a no-brainer, especially given Excedrin’s well-tailored creative strategy.  For instance, in a 15-second spot that looks like a video game, an animated Guardians-of-the Galaxy-like team called “the Healing Academy” rushes to the aid of a young gamer whose headache has him crying out, “I’m fading.”  Tablets taken, the gamer quickly recovers and the ad ends, “Excedrin, game over for headaches.”

GSK’s promotional mix includes several similar short spots as well as banner ads and sponsored posts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  The firm is also leveraging increasingly effective influencer marketing in the form of professional gamer Matthew “Nadeshot” Hagg, who has 1.6 million followers on the live game-streaming platform Twitch.

GSK’s strategy for targeting gamers seems very well-played.  However, there’s another part of the brand’s approach that could have many marketers hitting pause and that might make investors ill: Excedrin is also trying to help people avoid headaches.

On a company microsite specially created for gamers, the company references an exploratory study that tested “a simple 6-step routine to mindful gaming designed to improve focus and optimize performance in gamers.”  The six steps, which are designed to “help manage the risk of headaches,” include the following tips:

  1. Don’t play angry
  2. Look away from the screen for 20 seconds now and then
  3. Listen to some relaxing music after a long stretch
  4. Pause the game and relax your mind by sketching or doodling
  5. Put down the controller and give yourself a hand massage
  6. Close your eyes and do some deep breathing: inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth

Excedrin has enlisted 12 Twitch influencers as hosts of branded gaming livestreams, the most notably being Nadeshot, who talks about “the six-step mindfulness routine” during his live play on Twitch.

At first glance, Excedrin’s migraine mitigation strategy sounds good—helping people avoid headaches is a noble endeavor—then one realizes that fewer headaches mean fewer pills popped, lower sales, and less income for the company.  It seems like Excedrin is creating a headache for itself.

The company’s strategy has made me wonder, what if I wrote an article, “Six reasons you shouldn’t attend college”?—it probably wouldn’t sit well with my university.  Likewise, would an attorney author, “How to represent yourself in court,” or a public accountant pen, “Why to do your taxes on your own”?  The likely answer to each is ‘no.’

However, there are other examples that affirm Excedrin’s tips for headache-avoidance.  An online search quickly led me to an article, “Safe Driving Tips to Help Avoid Collisions” by an unlikely contributor—an autobody repair shop.  Similarly, it may be surprising to see that a physical therapy center has published a piece, “Injury Prevention in Young Athletes.”  Aren’t these organizations jeopardizing their own bottom-lines?

The two different sets of examples create confusion because they conflate problems with solutions and preventive measures with cures.

Education, legal representation, and tax preparation are preventative solutions to the probable problems of unemployment, a negative legal judgment, and an audit by the IRS.  In the same way, safe driving helps to prevent car collisions and stretching helps avoid athletic injuries.

For an attorney, authoring “How to avoid a lawsuit” is different than writing “How to represent yourself in court.”  The first piece is an effort to help people prevent a problem, while the second is a possible solution that wouldn’t only divert business from the firm, things probably wouldn’t end well in court for the self-represented defendant.

So, Excedrin’s mindful gaming tips are preventative measures, aimed at avoiding a common problem for gamers.  Yes, fewer headaches mean less demand for migraine medication, but several other factors will likely more than offset any such sales decrease for GSK:

  • More consumers will know about Excedrin:  The public relations exposure that Excedrin is enjoying because of its educational efforts likely means that many more Gen Zers and others who had never heard of Excedrin before are becoming familiar with the brand.
  • The health tips will create goodwill and trust:  Consumers appreciate when companies do things for them without asking for anything in return.  Such benevolence builds goodwill.  It also engenders trust, as people are more likely to put faith in organizations that aren’t simply looking for sales.
  • The medicine will make its way into more people’s consideration sets:  I’ve been familiar with Excedrin for as long as I can remember, but I don’t think I’ve ever tried it; I’m not sure why.  I only ever consider Advil and Tylenol.  I’m not a gamer, but now I’m thinking of trying Excedrin sometime.
  • People will reciprocate:  Often when someone gives or does something for us, we wonder, ‘What can I do for them?’  Besides being more top-of-mind, Excedrin will benefit from people who have appreciated its headache advise buying the product as a way of repaying the company for its kindness.

So, even if Excedrin’s headache prevention tips stop some people from getting migraines, many more people will be familiar with the brand, appreciate its altruism, trust it intentions, add it to their consideration sets, and purchase the product, partly to reciprocate for its good deed.

Another way to view it is Excedrin is greatly increasing the top of its sales funnel, or its brand awareness, which will inevitably mean more consumers taking action.  Granted, the headache tips may somewhat reduce the need for migraine medicine, but gamers and others will still get headaches at times, and more of those who get them will now turn to Excedrin.

As significant as these consumer outcomes are, there’s another consequence of the company’s strategy that’s equally important:  the impact on employees.

People want to give their time and energy to worthwhile causes.  They want to work for organizations that have a meaningful purpose.  Probably few people get excited about making ‘pills,’ accounting for ‘pills,’ or marketing ‘pills.’  However, it would be motivating to work for an organization whose mission is to help people feel better so they can do what they want and need to do.

GSK seems to be such an organization.  The company’s “About us” webpage beings with:
“We are a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer.”

The choice of words is telling.  GSK could easily say something like, ‘We want to be the premier producer of headache medications.  That wording, however, would suggest that the firm’s first priority is its bottom-line and that helping cure customers’ headaches is just a means of getting there.  Instead, GSK emphasizes that helping people feel better is what matters.

Employees, not to mention customers and investors, can get excited about that kind of a focus on a greater purpose.

Of course, individuals and organizations can put anything on a website.  That’s why Excedrin’s headache avoidance tips are so important:  They show that the company truly supports what it says:  It puts its medication where its mouth is.

When companies put people ahead of profit, something counterintuitive happens—they make money.

There are hundreds of pharmaceutical companies in the world.  According to Pharmaceutical Technology, GSK has annual revenues of over $44 billion, which makes it the world’s sixth largest pharmaceutical firm.  In 2020, GSK had income of over $7 billion. All that to say, GSK’s focus on helping people feel better appears to be paying off.

One way to know that someone loves you is seeing them sacrifice something to make you happy.  Whether people buy its medications or not, GSK seems to want people to be happy.

It may look strange for a company to lead prospects to a solution that avoids its products.  However, such a selfless approach does not go unnoticed; in fact, it’s one that most people find endearing.  Excedrin’s effort to prevent headaches before they happen isn’t naïve; it’s actually “Mindful Marketing.”

About the Author: Dr. David Hagenbuch, Ethicist and Professor of Marketing, Messiah University, Author of Honorable Influence, Founder of 

Doctor and Patient Connection in a Socially Distanced World (INFOGRAPHIC)

Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing

“Medicine has come a long way.”  That may be the biggest understatement of all time, but in 2021 it seems a particularly poignant sentiment as the COVID pandemic of 2020 brought about massive changes to how we view, give, and receive medical care.  Look back just 60 or so years ago and house calls were still a common occurrence, but today we have as little person-to-person contact as possible.  In fact, some things, such as COVID tests, are happening in a drive-through setting where we literally never get out of our vehicles to interact with medical teams.  It might seem like this “isolationism” might make it more difficult to get information about our health; from discussing symptoms we’re experiencing, to having meaningful conversations with healthcare providers about treatments we are considering.  However, in this day of social distancing, digital health is actually making it easier than ever for both patients and doctors to connect and to gain access to information.  

In a post-pandemic survey of 500 doctors, 80% of physicians reported use of digital health technology in their personal and/or professional lives.  The majority (62%) take advantage of health apps for personal use and 57% also recommend them to their patients.  Many doctors are also recommending digital health devices such as smartwatches, fitness wearables, smart gym equipment, and disease related devices to their patients, as well as using them personally.  Doctors are also using healthcare websites such as UpToDate (74%), Sermo (69%), and WebMD (69%), to gather information.  Physicians are also no strangers to social media, with many of them using social sites to communicate with other physicians, share videos with patients, post updates and repost messages for professional use.  Over 1 in 4 doctors are high adopters of digital health technology as they believe it will improve patient care. 

Doctors aren’t the only ones who believe digital health will improve medical outcomes. One-thousand patients were included in the same post-pandemic survey and the vast majority had a very favorable opinion of the advantages of digital health technology.  Seventy-one percent report that digital health tech was helping them to manage their own health and 63% believe it improves interactions with physicians. 

Both doctors and patients agree that the use of digital health technology is only going to increase and that big changes are still on the horizon.  It’s important for everyone, from the healthcare community, to pharmaceutical companies, to patients, to be aware and to be involved in health tech development so that we can build a system that not only functions, but also improves how we manage healthcare in the future. 

Acceleration of Digital Health

Brian WallaceAbout the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

4 Ways to Thrive in 2021

Leslie Grossman

Resilience is the word of the moment. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficulties, adversity, or crisis. We all need resilience to survive this pandemic and move forward, but resilience won’t guarantee that you will thrive.

That’s why I prefer to replace the word ‘resilience’ with the word ‘recovery’.

We need to focus on these 4 actions to make a full recovery.

While The best leaders are highly resilient. They also focus on the strategies that will enable their organizations and their people to thrive after bouncing back from one of the most challenging health crises of the century.

How will YOU do this?

Here are four action steps you can take to be more resilient and drive you to recovery, where you can thrive:

  1. Share your true feelings about how the past year has impacted you and your loved ones. Most people do care. By you being honest and vulnerable, you make it possible for others to do the same.
  2. Pat yourself on the back for surviving and getting through this crisis. It has been said:
    “If you can get through this, you can get through anything.” Breathe.
  3. Identify your vision. What do you want your life, your business or your career to look like one year from now?  Write it down as if it already exists like an affirmation. Visualize it. You can make it happen, but first you must be clear on what you want. Paint a picture of your future in words to inspire yourself and your team and inspire yourself with visuals (a vision board).
  4. Rebuild old relationships and make new ones. Check in on people you haven’t spoken to – both business and personal. It can be difficult to break out of our isolation which has dominated the past year. To create the life or career we want, we must continue to build relationships. Commit to a minimum of one or two conversations each week with people you respect. Ask how they are doing and truly listen to what they are telling you.   Lend support to them; Share your vision and ask for support for yourself. Take a step further and organize a Mastermind of 4 – 8 people who agree to chat on Zoom regularly and support each other into full recovery.

Take these 4 steps and you’ll be moving beyond resilience into recovery; beyond surviving into thriving faster than you expected.

About the Author: Leslie Grossman, leadership coach, educator and speaker; Senior Fellow, Faculty Director, Executive Women’s Leadership, The George Washington University Center for Excellence in Public Leadership,

The Stevens Group PR Masters Podcast Acquispectives – Margi Booth

Margi Booth, Chairman, M Booth

“I think you should take risks every day … you should be scared of doing something every day and try to do it.”


Listen to the Podcast

Brand Identity Creates Brand Loyalty

How To Market And Promote Your Organization Or Brand Online

Having an Online and Offline Brand Identity is an Essential Part of Gaining Life-long Customers and Brand Loyalty

Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR

By making regular, consistent content aligned with company values and goals, brands can cultivate targeted audiences who want to know more. Posting positive customer success stories, showing industry knowledge, and proving the effectiveness and content create a brand identity and brand awareness. 

Brand identity goes beyond popular media outlets doing press releases, articles, and profiles. Consumers want to know if a product’s brands are advertising work. They want to see the results they could potentially get from using a brand’s services or products. 

Sharing positive reviews and results from customers will create new customers with a strong interest in the brand. Building a reputable brand persona will help turn truthful, interested prospective consumers into customers, who will turn into advocates for the brand. Brand faith and loyalty are essential for any brand to become and stay relevant and successful.

Loyalty rewards create frequent customers 

Rewarding loyal customers is a way to ensure they will be repeat consumers. Giving rewards for purchases, brand and product interaction, and referrals make consumers feel appreciated and seen. Having members-only promotions or events is a great way to show both loyal clients and prospective clients the perks of supporting a company or brand.

Brands form a brand identity by interacting with consumers and customers

This can be done on social media by replying to posts and comments, holding contests, and posting behind the scenes content and sneak peeks to social media channels. Consumers who follow a brand’s social media platforms will then see something before the general consumer market. This makes them feel special and sparks interest in products before they launch.

Content creation, such as that of blogs, YouTube channels, articles, and guest posts on other publications, all creates brand interest and interaction. Creating accessible content such as podcasts, videos, or blog posts and articles gives a broader range of consumers insight into what a brand is like. 

Using branded content as a public relations and marketing tool can improve search result rankings and gain more website traffic. Videos are also accessible to people who have disabilities that prevent them from reading. Screen-reading apps can read content with captions or go a long way for people with accessibility requirements.

Informative articles that outline prices, FAQs, ingredients and product information are frequently searched. Having that information readily available helps with SEO ratings for brands. While blogging is one of the most accessible and easy digital PR tools, it is essential to use SEO-friendly keywords and constantly create and update blog content. 

Blog content that is fresh, current, and visually appealing is attractive to consumers and potential consumers. Influencers, brands, and consumers on social media can easily share easy-to-understand, short blog posts. Having readily accessible content that provides helpful information is vital.



New Word Enters Crisis Management Vocabulary: Don’t ‘Peloton’ Me, Pal, Do a Recall!

Tom Madden,  Founder & CEO, TransMedia Group

When you have a product that kills someone, don’t just “peloton,” do something!    In other words, don’t just apologize, take action so it won’t happen again.

Thus, it seems a new word has entered the PR crisis management lexicon.

Perhaps “don’t peloton” will now join phrases like “stop Boeing a dead horse.”  Stop blaming others.  Do something yourself to make sure it doesn’t happen again!  

This of course is a reference to how another high-flying company seemed to strongly intimate that the deadly 737 Max crashes were much more the pilot’s then their plane’s fault.

So, when you have product that’s responsible for a child’s death, you need to do sooner what Peloton has finally done after seemingly frozen for weeks in the headlights of the House consumer-protection subcommittee’s chair urging the company to recall its treadmills.

First thing we learned in crisis management is to take responsibility, then take actions to see it never happens again.  We’re supposed to apologize if someone is hurt or killed using one of our products, then take immediate steps to make sure the problem or flaw is fixed, whether it involves emergency repairs or a full recall.

While it took too long, the good news from a PR standpoint is that Peloton apologized on May 5 for failing to act promptly after reports that its treadmills are potentially dangerous.  Eventually, the company recalled them and will now halt sales of one treadmill model linked to the death of a 6-year-old.

The bad news is Peloton took weeks before it acted decisively after it had stubbornly ignored calls for a recall from politicians, federal regulators and others. Peloton’s botched response may go down as another egregious example of how not to deal with a crisis.

The question for Peloton now is how much this scandalous episode will dent the reputation of its main business, exercise bicycles, the demand for which has soared during the pandemic along with its stock price, now backtracking a bit.

As the pandemic abates, all businesses now will be heading back out into deeper waters with more valuable assets aboard, so it’s essential they keep an experienced PR firm at their side 24/7.  This is not only to keep media informed and excited about new developments and progress, but to manage any crisis that might come up along the way as the company grows.  

Thomas MaddenAbout the Author: Tom Madden is an author, speechwriter and public relations expert who is founder and CEO of the international PR firm TransMedia Group ( Prior to launching the firm in New York City, Madden was Vice President, Assistant to the President, of NBC and was head of PR Planning at American Broadcasting Companies. Among his books are his autobiography “Spin Man” and “King of the Condo,” a murder mystery thriller that satirically depicts life in a Florida condo based on his own harrowing experience as a condo president.  His latest book WORDSHINE MAN is due out this summer. He currently writes a blog called “MaddenMischief’ (, which chronicles his sometimes whimsical, comical and critical views on politics, media and other subjects.