The Netflix Implosion

If you had any doubt about what’s going on behind the scenes at Netflix, this week’s blog post from CEO Reed Hastings confirms it for me.  The company is in chaos.

I used to be a huge Netflix advocate and was thrilled to switch from Blockbuster, but something has gone terribly wrong and we’re watching it all play out in public. Continue reading


BART’s PR Ethics Questioned

Most communication professionals have found themselves in a similar situation – go find people who will support your company’s position and are willing to be quoted or interviewed by the media. On its face, not so bad. So why then is the head of BART’s (Bay Area Rapid Transit) communications team coming under so much fire for trying to get loyal train riders to speak out against recent protests? Continue reading

If Facebook was a country it would be the world’s third largest

Interesting new stats about social media can be found in this infographic released by Search Engine Journal.

A further reminder that it’s an ever-changing landscape trying to determine where and how to tell your story.

Note that stats about Twitter usage, which, while effective for some uses, still shows softness.

Runaway Executives: There are some things PR pros can’t fix

Executives self-destructed at both Yahoo and Groupon this week – remarkable to watch from the outside, gut-wrenching
if you’re on the inside.

And because the implosions happened at the very top of both organizations, I am reminded that there are some things even the best communications professionals can’t fix. Continue reading

Pac Sun uses Sinatra to hit hard on brand message

Watching the MTV Music Awards tonight, I was entertained by Pac Sun’s 1:00 commercial,which features a throw-back Frank Sinatra song, “Call me Irresponsible (1963).” Of course the kids said they’ve seen this spot “a million times already,” but for me it was the first. Which is a sign that PacSun is correctly placing their commercials on shows watched by teenagers (and not me).

The spot is a fun mood-setter –featuring musicians, artists and action sports athletes having fun and taking risks: a couple jumps into a pool with their clothes on and then two girls trade bikini tops while driving down the road in a convertible.

As in most great brand spots, the message is not so much about the product, but about aspirations of the target audience. A way for the retailer to connect emotionally. Pac Sun’s CEO Gary Schoenfeld says the “Dress irresponsible” campaign is about “enjoying life, friends and embracing one’s own sense of style.”

This spot was released a month or so before back-to-school shopping, which is probably why my kids unknowingly found themselves shopping there this summer as we stocked up for school.  Nice job Pac Sun.

Don’t take yourself so seriously

Here’s advice for really important people, and for the rest of us who think we are: Don’t take yourself so seriously, it will do wonders for your reputation.

When business is tough and work is stressful it’s easy to forget to lighten up. It happens to the best of us. The challenge is to make sure your self-absorption doesn’t become part of the corporate culture and ooze into your public interactions. Continue reading

Southwest Airlines cashing in on “Bags Fly Free”

I was not surprised to see the new report out from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics which shows Southwest Airlines carried more passengers in 2009 than any other airline. And at a time when total passenger count was down 5.3 percent, Southwest only lost 0.6% last year.

Not only does Southwest lead in number of passengers, it also leads in advertising spending in the travel industry.

So over the last few months, whenever the conversation has turned to “advertising, the economy and what now?” I’ve been asking people this question: Continue reading

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