Is it me or is every country in the world going through the same thing at the very same time? First it was the financial crisis, then who had the best fireworks and now mass protests seem to be the order of the day. Without getting too into the nitty gritty of it all, could it be the way we report?

Is it just a coincidence or are we going back to being primates, imitating what we see? Maybe the answer lies in this very interesting explanation by Charlie Brooker, and his special dose of humour.

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Whirlwind Romance

The client/agency relationship. It has drama, romance, suspense, action and sometimes even mystery. It can be a stormy affair or a contented partnership, because this relationship is very much like marriage.

It all starts with the invitation. They heard about you, liked what they heard and invite you over to chat. They like what they see, so you get the invitation to pitch. And the courtship begins. You woo them with gifts of strategy, creative solutions and dynamic ideas. You get to the shortlist, the heady excitement builds as you realise your dreams are on the verge of coming true. Then it happens…they accept your proposal, and you both say your ‘I dos’ and the papers are signed by the happy new couple.

But the moment the joyful union takes place, is the moment it is in danger of being lost. After all, 50% of marriages end in divorce, right? The fact is, the moment you win an account is the moment you start losing it. The honeymoon is fleeting and the second-guessing, blame shifting, miscommunication, stony silences and questioning loyalty begin. The client wonders if it was right to enter into this relationship in the first place and maybe this agency wasn’t everything it appeared to be. The agency suddenly finds it lacks the right kind of support, but says nothing for fear of disturbing the young relationship – better to suffer in silence than to have the hard, honest talks. Conflict avoidance takes roots, but avoiding conflict also means taking a detour around progress. Continue reading »

Taking time out for the little people, isn’t it great? I know I feel good when I give my son five minutes of attention so that he can ramble on about his day (it’s still a foreign language to me since he still can’t talk), and as busy as I might be it’s important. It shows I care, it gives him time to vent and it helps us to come up with better solutions to problems that I may not have been able to think of all on my own. Case in point: we’ve implemented later bedtimes so that he could spend more time with daddy – his suggestion, not mine. Low and behold, we tried it and it works. Now he goes to bed without a fuss (almost).

Without the help of the little people that work for you, how do you know if you’re doing it right? They’re the ones getting down and dirty with your operations, and they’re the ones who really know what it takes to make your business run. If you don’t ask junior, you might be missing an opportunity to make things a whole lot better. Continue reading »

The thought of snakes, spiders, heights or even the boogeyman under your bed can scare the living day light out of some people. But if you’re living with the stress and chaos of PR, then it will take a lot more than that to scare you. What are we deathly terrified of?

Jennifer Nichols shares with us 10 PR Nightmares:

You mail merge a pitch to the wrong media list – Your big placement is canned due to a huge breaking news – A press release is issued with the CEO’s name misspelled and all the URLs are dead (That’s the scariest nightmare for me personally)- You wake to find a cover story featuring all your competitors – Crisis, crisis, crisis and no prepared plan of attack – No media show up for your press conference or media event (This can be really scary)- You accidentally share a personal tweet on the corporate account – You lose cell/Internet service; what is a PR pro without access? – An expensive PR stunt results in zero coverage – You have the wrong addresses listed on a media tour and your spokesperson is late to every interview. Continue reading »

Love that song, don’t you? I StumbleUponed this article about 10 ways to make you happy, and I realised that just reading the title and seeing the picture actually did.

I think we should try to apply some of these principles to our daily miserable work lives (just kidding), and here are a few:

Know Yourself
This took me quite a while. I grew up in the States, went to high school in Syria and then did university in Lebanon. Along the way I found myself quite confused, trying to be so many different people to so many different people. What did I do? Try to be what others wanted me to be instead of myself. That even translated into my career. Continue reading »

After every press release or interview, you always run the risk of the journalist either misreporting a fact, or portraying your client in a negative light.  Sometimes, these things are out of our control – all we can do is send out the correct information and hope for the best.  What we do have some sway over, however, is the right way to deal with the situation.

It may be our instinct to immediately cut the reporter off and restrict them from speaking to the client again.  However, as Brad Phillips explains in his article ‘7 Things to Do When the Media Gets it Wrong’, this is quite possibly the worst approach you can take as a PR consultant, purely because the consequences can be more detrimental than beneficial to your client and their business in the long run – after all, silence can be interpreted in a number of negative ways.  More often than not, the best remedy is to actually reach out to the journalist to see if there’s any way to resolve the issue and if that doesn’t work – Phillips advises that you go straight to your audience by utilising social media platforms! Continue reading »

Press coverage is usually referred to as ‘free’ advertising, but this definitely isn’t free. While there’s a lot of things that brands can do for themselves, there’s a lot that goes into everything that we do and that includes: time, effort and connections.

PR Daily shares some ways to maximise coverage, which means going beyond the obvious to take things one step further.
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Facebook is not just a social networking site that is growing exponentially and becoming part of the everyday lives of millions of people around the planet (over 726 million online users and growing), but has also become a discipline of research on its own.  The major part of literature on social media focuses on Facebook regardless of the angle taken. From the discussion of new applications, comparisons with other social networking tools, the significant role it has in social and political movements, all the way to the psycho-social and human behavioral attitudes associated with the use of Facebook. Even the words “like” and “poke” are being used in everyday language in reference to Facebook. Continue reading »

Sorry to say it ladies, but it is. We speak up more, are more confident and are willing to stand apart from the crowd. But before you form a mob outside of our C&B offices, let me elaborate.

An article by Harvard Business Review reveals the following downfalls of the female race:

Being overly modest

Why shouldn’t you take credit for your accomplishments? We do, and that’s how managers know how much we have been up to. I know we’re ingrained to puff up are chests and to show the world what we are made of, but ladies, it’s time you started doing the same. Continue reading »

I love it when somebody gets it right and it’s so refreshing to find a brand that really knows what social media is all about.  Social media is not just about driving more traffic and increasing sales, it’s also about creating a “Character” online. I previously wrote about how to develop your personality online and 800 Flower is one of those brands that have. They’re warm and bubbly, yet elegant a chic and they aren’t afraid of being unique.They know who they are, their fans know who they are and they continue to succeed in developing this relationship. The boutique flower shop in Dubai – that really brings back passion to the art of floral arrangement – allows you to order online and uses bouquets to make any day an occasion.

If you go to 800 Flower’s Facebook fan page, you will notice that they have been engaging pretty well with their customers; making them feel at home and always entertained though interaction, monthly competitions and free giveaways – Tuesday’s Trivia Questions give fans a chance to win a free bouquet, delivered to their very doorstep, just for answering the questions right. Continue reading »

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