Category Communications strategy

Communications and Marketing: A Marriage Made in Hades

When someone tells me they do marketing communications, I sometimes ask which one. I’m not trying to be a wise guy (okay, maybe a little bit). I’m simply curious what their job involves. A misguided business trend has taken root in recent years that calls for the merging of the communications and marketing functions. This […]

Is There a Hatfield vs. McCoy Feud Under Your Roof?

Oh, no. It’s happening again. Your internal teams are squabbling. Your company’s leadership is determined to avoid a Game of Thrones-style pitched battle. To some extent, there is a natural tension between such functions. That can, when channeled properly, prove cathartic and creative. Yet when the name calling begins and turf wars ensue, the top […]

The 411 on Q&A

Every day, business executives answer questions from reporters, public officials, and audiences of various types. However, years of observation tell me that few have given thought to what they can do to properly manage those responses. We are taught from an early age to reply literally since we are told—erroneously, in my view—that there is […]

How Much Risk Is Your Business Willing to Assume?

Your communications strategy and your message must be airtight when advocating in the court of public opinion. It’s risky business. Your reputation, your business goals…your very career…are at stake. Some internal communications teams are up to the job; some are not, due to anything from inexperience to incompetence to indifference. That’s why many larger businesses […]

Tricks of the Reporter’s Trade

Reporters are grateful when you prove helpful. They have stories to write, bylines they want to see in print, and editors and news directors to please. But it is naïve to suggest there is not another side to this coin. They thrive on conflict. After all, that is what sells newspapers, generates online clicks, and garners TV […]

How James Comey Can Help You

The hubbub surrounding last week’s testimony of former FBI Director James Comey before the Senate Intelligence Committee rivaled that of John Dean, Anita Hill, and Oliver North in the pantheon of Congressional hearings. I don’t intend to pose an exhaustive review here. Rather, let’s use the spotlight his hearing focused on the Hill to examine […]

Make This Crisis Disappear

Some executives labor under the impression that communications experts can make a crisis go away. Would that it were true. While it’s nice to feel such confidence in our abilities, neither I nor any of my colleagues have a magic wand capable of such illusion. Oh, we may be able to help minimize its impact, […]