Archives for category: public relations

President Obama released his long-form birth certificate today in an attempt to squash the persistent controversy over whether or not he was born in the United States. The political move comes after new Republican hopeful, Donald Trump, went on a media blitz trying to cast a doubt over the Obama’s legitimacy as president. Democratic consultant Phil Singer said, “This is a non-issue that for whatever reason takes up space that would otherwise be dedicated to the good things that the president is doing, so it makes every piece of sense in the world to try to take the issue off the table.”

President Obama with hand to head

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Seriously? Does no one see the issue in releasing this now?

According to a Gallup Poll released Monday, 24% of respondents said Obama was probably or definitely born in another country. 18% said he was probably born in the United States. These numbers show that the idea of Obama not actually being a natural-born citizen has grown considerable traction thanks to Trump and others from the Republican party. Even with the submission of evidence, the effects of the controversy cannot as easily done away with as holding a press conference.

Giving in to the naysayers, actually feeds into the hands of potential candidate Donald Trump. Trump appeared, confidence brimming, in a conference after Obama’s where he applauded himself for forcing the president to prove himself. Obama meanwhile, looks like a president who was unable to handle hecklers with insubstantial arguments. You could also raise the argument that this move was only fitting Obama’s personal interests as he revs up his reelection campaign, especially when there are issues like the national debt on the table that have nothing to do with the Birther Movement. Obama’s communications team has let the president appear weak before, like during his media tour for healthcare reform where he worried voters by discussing how difficult it would be to pass legislation. A move he would later have to mitigate in a press conference by assuring the American public he would do everything in his power to get the bill passed. This example sums it all up, Obama’s communications team lets issues go now hoping they’ll die down, and thinks strategically later. In today’s world, public relations professionals cannot afford to do this. We need to take the knowledge of our industry, discover the flaws and possible controversies, and plan NOW. You have to have the strategic media plan developed now, with systems in place, so you can deploy it if a controversy evolves.

The best PR tactic for Obama?  He should have either released the long-form certificate during his election campaign OR practiced what he preaches and shown how he was focusing on only major issues rather than using a press conference to simply say he was.


HollyToday  I continue my 6 Days of Christmas for Managing Digital Communications!


On the fifth day of Christmas I recommend to you: Get your company on Linkedin

This tip is for small businesses. If you caught my one blog awhile back, I talked about the benefits of starting a website and social media sites for small business. In the blog I mentioned how websites and social media sites are the number one stop for users when they want to learn more about a business or organization. Using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter is just the tip of the iceberg though. If you want to amp up your professional credentials, try Linkedin. Using Linkedin will get your business the increased visibility you’re looking for.

Just like Facebook, LinkedIn is built around the idea that years and distance shouldn’t keep you from being able to keep in touch with acquaintances and friends. But it is unlike Facebook, in that it is mostly devoted to business networking. On Linkedin, users and businesses so can create meaningful working connections with your suppliers, contacts, clients, competitors and others. Linkedin will allow you to personally assemble all your  professional contacts. However, company pages allow your company to be highlighted as well. There are currently hundreds of thousands of profiles of companies on LinkedIn, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to philanthropic organizations to social media vendors. Users who work for your company or that have worked in the past are represented under your company.  This allows your employees to be the face of your organization, and to represent you in a professional manner to other like-minded professionals. It also allows you to post jobs, increase your Google page rank, advertise B2B style, and more. Linkedin users can even follow you much like on Twitter.

If you’re looking for an easy way to help build credibility for your business, Linkedin is the first step.

HollyArrived in Atlanta! Anyone doing anything fun on this fifth day of Christmas?

HollyToday  I continue my 6 Days of Christmas for Managing Digital Communications! For the next 2 Days I’ll be recommending what I feel are the most valuable tools or concepts for social media and digital campaigns.

On the fourth day of Christmas I recommend to you: Understand Crisis Management

Too often, public relations professionals for companies and organizations make the mistake of waiting for a public relations crisis to happen before they ever begin to think of crisis management. Crisis management will not be effective if you wait until a crisis occurs and then address the issue. When you’re ill prepared for a crisis, the public will not give  you time to catch up. It’s difficult in the best of circumstances to overcome an embarrassing news article, tv clip, or viral blog about your company. If you wait until the crisis occurs to think of ways to manage it then it will be downright impossible to overcome your blunder.

Instead, anticipate possible attacks and criticisms against your company. All good public relations professionals should be able to see the possible “holes” or negatives in their company’s image. If you know your organization well enough, it should be easy for you to pinpoint them. Once you know what these flaws may be, start addressing the potential ways to manage each one before there is even a possibility for a crisis to occur. Start drafting company statements, compile lists of resources for who news outlets should contact, create traditional and social media press releases, start planning ways to negate the crisis through photos and videos that will be distributed on social media sites, locate bloggers who will be valuable resources to reach out to during the crisis, start bolstering you defenses by drafting statements for social media outlets, etc.

In today’s day and age, the luxury of being able to wait to release a statement or to provide your own evidence does not exist. Resources need to already exist so you can turn a crisis into yesterday’s news. The best way to do this is to start planning now, before someone tries to take down your company’s defenses.

HollySo my plans are  to travel tomorrow, how about all of you? Anyone continuing their festive celebrations?