PR Firms Speak Out on Climate Change


As long as I can remember few public relations firms have taken a stand on political issues. Yes, many firms have done cause related marketing – whether it’s pro bono work, donations, adopting charities, and so forth. But things are changing. PR Daily just reported that ten of the world’s largest firms ranging from Weber Shandwick and Edelman to Finn Partners and  WPP and others have vowed not to partner with companies that deny that man made climate change exists. The agencies made those assertions in response to a survey conducted by The Guardian and the Washington D.C.-based Climate Investigations Center.

“We would not support a campaign that denies the existence and the threat posed by climate change, or efforts to obstruct regulations cutting greenhouse gas emissions and/or renewable energy standards,” Weber Shandwick spokeswoman Michelle Selesky said.

Some firms questioned in the survey wouldn’t answer the question but emphasized their environmental initiatives.
This stance is no small thing considering that many global firms have energy companies and other clients connected to fossil fuels.

I applaud the courage of the firms that did this as it’s not just a question of losing opportunities to work with companies in the energy business, but also, it could be off putting to others who don’t believe in global warming and thus a potential source of further lost business opportunities.

As you can imagine, the announcement sparked a spirited online debate. It’s admirable that the public relations industry is taking on one of the major issues of our time and is willing to take a stand.

Blogpost by Karen Weiner Escalera

Digital Strategies for Luxury Brands #7

This is the seventh of nine digital strategies for luxury brands.

Millennials want to be “entertained and informed” and with increasingly sophisticated technology. (Would you ever turn your brand’s Twitter feed over to a stranger? Probably not. But that’s what VisitSweden did. The tourism board gave its @sweden Twitter account to regular citizens for a week at a time, to showcase real local voices and true local flavor. And knowing that savvy Millennials are glued to their phones, A/X brand – the “Accessible Armani” – targets young consumers with in-store pickup to its mobile commerce site).

Digital Strategies for Luxury Brands #3

Here’s the third of nine digital strategies for luxury brands:

Exploit the full range of possibilities of visuals (images and video) to show what the brand represents, and to showcase marketing content. (Tod’s produced a video ‘An Italian Dream’ to celebrate Italian craftsmanship, where 13 ballet dancers from the Teatro alla Scala  interpret the artisanal creation process of Tod’s iconic D-bag and Gommino. It gave their marketing story an impactful, rich backdrop and texture beyond a simple video of artisans, just crafting shoes).

Cosmetic Procedures for Men Take Off


First we saw the success of the return of the men’s barber shop, albeit upscale versions such as the Art of Shaving which now has 130 barber spas (that’s what they call them) across the US. Then came men’s spa treatments,  men’s spa months, and new takes on guys getaways such as golf and spa weeks. Now it seems the next area in for major growth is cosmetic procedures for men. According to Town and Country magazine, they accounted for 10 percent of the 10 million performed in 2012 and suggested in “then” and “now” images that Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry have had some work done.  Now, two blocks from the White House, W for Men just opened at the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, An all-male staff attends to patrons who can watch videos of male interest (like how to tie a bow tie) while waiting for their treatment. Botox it seems is one of the more favored treatments. “Botox is used more discreetly than with women; the goal is Paul Newman not Paul Rudd”, said Terrence Keaney who heads up the facility. There’s a black alley entrance, perfect for avoiding paparazzi, and even a special product for the jacket-less in summer. MiraDry uses microwave energy to destroy sweat glands in the underarm areas so shirts remain almost free of sweat stains. Maybe a visit for a Father’s Day gift?

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Scandal Tourism

Scandal themed tours score big

Scandal themed tours score big


In the category of unusual tourism first came danger, then dark  (places associated with death and tragedy), and now tabloid tourism. If there’s anything most people like to hear, see and read about is the lifestyles of the rich and famous. And better yet from the point of view of many is if those people are involved with crime, rehab, and sexual no no’s. On that basis, it seems that the New York Post’s Headline Tours and TMZ who are offering scandal inspired tours of Manhattan, have a formula for success. According to the New York Times, earlier this year The New York Post in partnership with an offshoot of Circle Line Sightseeing starting offering tours of places covered in some of their most scandalous headlines. And now, TMZ, the gossip website and TV show is giving them some serious competition (their tours make the Post’s look scholarly wrote the Times reporter!) with not only narrative meant to shock and titillate, but also, with drop down TV screens with video clips to give more in depth detail of the story behind the story, contests, and sound effects from passengers encouraged. On one tour a highlight is billed as the “Lindsay Lohan Terror Zone”, rich with stories of fights, sex and drugs, a triple header. The two hour tours command a healthy price tag of $49 for adults and $39 for children. Sounds like this is a formula that would work in other destinations, no?

Working with Millennials


It’s a different work world out there. And if you believe the projections, by the year 2020 it will be even more different as Millennials (persons born in the 80’s or 90’s) will make up 40% of the world’s professionals. Having a son on the younger side of the age category and working with interns, I see the change in work style and the need to understand and adapt to their special sensibilities. I recently read an article in Public Relations Tactics on how to work with Millennials in 5 easy steps. Very helpful! Here’s a summary:

1. Collaboration:
Don’t be surprised if this generation is quick to give you their opinions. Not only do they feel comfortable doing this, but they expect to be heard and their opinions respected. It’s part of the collaborative way they approach challenges.

2. Customized jobs and professional development:
Traditional courses that the HR department might offer don’t work especially well for them. They learn best by having them define their goals and be involved in their own plan for  training and development. Exposure to  and involvement in professional organizations works especially well, giving them the opportunity to learn at their own pace.

3. Freedom & flexibility:
No surprise this one – they see all aspects of their life being 24/7 so the concept of a 9 to 5 job is alien. They work best working hard for a few hours, coming back to work later after having “mixed it up”, having done something completely different. They’re also open to working not only from the office, but from the road, at Starbucks, home or wherever.

4. Mutual respect:
They’ll be most productive if they feel their opinions are valued and respected.

5. Fun at work:
Lightening up the work environment brings out the best in them. Think work-life balance and having fun in a relaxed setting.

Blogpost by Karen Weiner Escalera

An Intern Experience at KWE Partners

My Internship Experience at KWE Partners

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Visit Barbados & Rihanna: A Match Made in Social Media

On December 17th, Visit Barbados launched Rihanna’s 2013 Barbados Tourism campaign: Are you a Tourist or Traveler? to the world – well, the social media world. The online-only campaign, running mid-December through February, began with a video on Facebook of the award-winning pop singer in her native homeland.

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Digital Media Trends for 2013

That story telling is a critical element of effective marketing has been described ad infinitum. More recently we’ve also seen that visual story telling, adding visuals, can increase engagement by as much as 9 times. According to a recent survey, over 90 percent of all media websites now use video. So number one in the “must do” is video.

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Revolutionary Aloft Hotels Twitter Pitch Party – Success?

On November 12th, Aloft Hotels (@AloftHotels) had 485 followers on Twitter. On November 26th, @AloftHotels boasts 2,314 followers. What might you ask caused this nearly 400% increase in just two short weeks? The Answer: the newest hashtag to hit the platform — a #RFTweet.

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